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By William Walker Atkinson 

In the past few years a widespread mental and spiritual 
awakening has taken place among the people of this country. 
And this new awakening has been very aptly called THE 
NEW PSYCHOLOGY MOVEMENT, because it has to do 
with the development and expression of the mind, or soul, of 
both the individual and the nation. 





Although each book stands alone as an authority on the 
subject treated, yet one idea runs through the series binding 
them together to make a complete whole. 

Uniform Postpaid Price of Each Volume is $1.60. 


This is Mr. Atkinson's complete statement of the history and 
principles of the great New Thought movement of which the new 
psychology is a phase. This volume is bound in artistic paper 
cover, 36 pages, price 28c. postpaid. 


By Elizabeth Towne 


Price $1.60. 
(formerly Lessons in Living). Price $1.60. 
PHYSICAL. Price $1.60. 



PLEXUS. Price 28c. 

Price 28c. 

These are among the most popular of Mrs. Towne's books. 
Any or all sent postpaid on receipt of price. 

The Elizabeth Towne Company, Holyoke, Mass. 





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London, E. C, England 




Copyright 1912 


I. Memory : Its Importance 7 

II. Cultivation of the Memory 17 

III. Celebrated Cases of Memory. ... 27 

IV. Memory Systems . . . . 37 

V. The Subconscious Record-File.. 48 

VI. Attention . . 58 

VII. Association 70 

VIII. Phases of Memory. ,. . . . 81 

IX Training the Eye 90 

X. Training the Ear 101 

XL How to Remember Names. . 111 

XII. How to Remember Faces 121 

XIII. How to Remember Places. ., 130 

XIV. How to Remember Numbers 140 

XV. How to Remember Music. 152 

XVI. How to Remember Occurrences.. 160 

XVII. How to Remember Facts 168 

XVIII. How to Remember Words, etc. .178 

XIX. How to Remember Books, Plays, 

Tales, etc 186 

XX. General Instructions .197 



It needs very little argument to convince the 
average thinking person of the great import- 
ance of memory, although even then very few 
begin to realize just how important is the 
function of the mind that has to do with the 
retention of mental impressions. The first 
thought of the average person when he is 
asked to consider the importance of memory, 
is its use in the affairs of every-day life, along 
developed and cultivated lines, as contrasted 
with the lesser degrees of its development. In 
short, one generally thinks of memory in its 
phase of " a good memory " as contrasted with 
the opposite phase of " a poor memory. ' ' But 
there is a much broader and fuller meaning 
of the term than that of even this important 

It is true that the success of the individual 
in his every-day business, profession, trade 
or other occupation depends very materially 


8 Memory 

upon the possession of a good memory. His 
value in any walk in life depends to a great 
extent upon the degree of memory he may 
have developed. His memory of faces, names, 
facts, events, circumstances and other things 
concerning his every-day work is the measure 
of his ability to accomplish his task. And in 
the social intercourse of men and women, the 
possession of a retentive memory, well 
stocked with available facts, renders its pos- 
sessor a desirable member of society. And in 
the higher activities of thought, the memory 
comes as an invaluable aid to the individual 
in marshalling the bits and sections of know- 
ledge he may have acquired, and passing 
them in review before his cognitive faculties 
—thus does the soul review its mental pos- 
sessions. As Alexander Smith has said: "A 
man's real possession is his memory; in noth- 
ing else is he rich ; in nothing else is he poor." 
Kichter has said : i ' Memory is the only para- 
dise from which we cannot be driven away. 
Grant but memory to us, and we can lose 
nothing by death." Lactantius says: "Mem- 
ory tempers prosperity, mitigates adversity, 
controls youth, and delights old age." 

Its Importance 9 

But even the above phases of memory rep- 
resent but a small segment of its complete 
circle. Memory is more than "a good mem- 
ory"— it is the means whereby we perform 
the largest share of our mental work. As 
Bacon has said: "All knowledge is but re- 
membrance." And Emerson: "Memory is a 
primary and fundamental faculty, without 
which none other can work: the cement, the 
bitumen, the matrix in which the other facul- 
ties are embedded. Without it all life and 
thought were an unrelated succession." And 
Burke: "There is no faculty of the mind 
which can bring its energy into effect unless 
the memory be stored with ideas for it to 
look upon." And Basile: "Memory is the 
cabinet of imagination, the treasury of rea- 
son, the registry of conscience, and the coun- 
cil chamber of thought." Kknt pronounced 
memory to be "the most wonderful of the fac- 
ulties." Kay, one of the best authorities on 
the subject has said, regarding it: "Unless 
the mind possessed the power of treasuring 
up and recalling its past experiences, no 
knowledge of any kind could be acquired. If 
every sensation, thought, or emotion passed 

10 Memoby 

entirely from the mind the moment it ceased 
to be present, then it would be as if it had 
not been; and it could not be recognized or 
named should it happen to return. Such an 
one would not only be without knowledge,— 
without experience gathered from the past, 
—but without purpose, aim, or plan regard- 
ing the future, for these imply knowledge and 
require memory. Even voluntary motion, 
or motion for a purpose, could have no ex- 
istence without memory, for memory is in- 
volved in every purpose. Not only thfe learn- 
ing of the scholar, but the inspiration of the 
poet, the genius of the painter, the heroism 
of the warrior, all depend upon memory. Nay, 
even consciousness itself could have no ex- 
istence without memory for every act of con- 
sciousness involves a change from a past 
state to a present, and did the past state 

vanish the moment it was past, there could be 
no consciousness of change. Memory, there- 
fore, may be said to be involved in all con- 
scious existence— a property of every con 
scious being! 

In the building of character and individual- 
ity, the memory plays an important part, for 

Its Importance 11 

upon the strength of the impressions received, 
and the firmness with which they are re- 
tained, depends the fibre of character and 
individuality. Our experiences are indeed 
the stepping stones to greater attainments, 
and at the same time our guides and protec- 
tors from danger. If the memory serves us 
well in this respect we are saved the pain of 
repeating the mistakes of the past, and may 
also profit by remembering and thus avoid- 
ing the mistakes of others. As Beattie says : 
"When memory is preternaturally defective, 
experience and knowledge will be deficient in 
proportion, and imprudent conduct and ab- 
surd opinion are the necessary conse- 
quence." Bain says: "A character retain- 
ing a feeble hold of bitter experience, or 
genuine delight, and unable to revive after- 
wards the impression of the time is in reality 
the victim of an intellectual weakness under 
the guise of a moral weakness. To have 
constantly before us an estimate of the 
things that affect us, true to the reality, is 
one precious condition for having our will 
always stimulated with an accurate refer- 
ence to our happiness. The thoroughly edu- 

12 Memory 

cated man, in this respect, is lie that can carry 
with him at all times the exact estimate of 
what he has enjoyed or suffered from every 
object that has ever affected him, and in 
case of encounter can present to the enemy as 
strong a front as if he were under the genu- 
ine impression. A full and accurate memory, 
for pleasure or for pain, is the intellectual 
basis both of prudence as regards self, and 
sympathy as regards others/ ' 

So, we see that the cultivation of the mem- 
ory is far more than the cultivation and de- 
velopment of a single mental faculty— it is 
the cultivation and development of our en- 
tire mental being— the development of our 

To many persons the words memory, recol- 
lection, and remembrance, have the same 
meaning, but there is a great difference in 
the exact shade of meaning of each term. 
The student of this book should make the 
distinction between the terms, for by so do- 
ing he will be better able to grasp the vari- 
ous points of advice and instruction herein 
given. Let us examine these terms. 

Locke in his celebrated work, the "Essay 


Its Importance 13 

•ncerning Human Understanding" has 
clearly stated the difference between the 
meaning of these several terms. He says: 
"Memory is the power to revive again in our 
minds those ideas which after imprinting, 
have disappeared, or have been laid aside out 
of sight— when an idea again recurs without 
the operation of the like object on the exter- 
nal sensory, it is remembrance; if it be 
sought after by the mind, and with pain and 
endeavor found, and brought again into 
view, it is recollection." Fuller says, com- 
menting on this : "Memory is the power of re- 
producing in the mind former impressions, 
or percepts. Eemembrance and Recollection 
are the exercise of that power, the former be- 
ing involuntary or spontaneous, the latter vo- 
litional. We remember because we cannot help 
it but we recollect only through positive ef- 
fort. The act of remembering, taken by it- 
self, is involuntary. In other words, when 
the mind remembers without having tried to 
remember, it acts spontaneously. Thus it 
may be said, in the narrow, contrasted senses 
of the two terms, that we remember by chance, 
but recollect by intention, and if the endeavor 

14 Memoby 

be successful that which is reproduced be- 
comes, by the very effort to bring it forth, 
more firmly intrenched in the mind than 

But the New Psychology makes a little dif- 
ferent distinction from that of Locke, as giv- 
en above. It uses the word memory not only 
in his sense of "The power to revive, etc.," 
but also in the sense of the activities of the 
mind which tend to receive and store away 
the various impressions of the senses^ and the 
ideas conceived by the mind, to the end that 
they may be reproduced voluntarily, or in- 
voluntarily, thereafter. The distinction be- 
tween remembrance and recollection, as made 
by Locke, is adopted as correct by The New 

It has long been recognized that the mem- 
ory, in -all of its phases, is capable of de- 
velopment, culture, training and guidance 
through intelligent exercise. Like any other 
faculty of mind, or physical part, muscle or 
limb, it may be improved and strengthened. 
But until recent years, the entire efforts of 
these memory-developers were directed to 
the strengthening of that phase of the memory 

Its Importance 15 

known as "recollection," which, you will re- 
member, Locke defined as an idea or impres- 
sion "sought after by the mind, and with 
pain and endeavor found, and brought again 
into view." The New Psychology goes much 
further than this. While pointing out the 
most improved and scientific methods for "re- 
collecting" the impressions and ideas of the 
memory, it also instructs the student in the 
use of the proper methods whereby the mem- 
pry may be stored with clear and distinct im- 
pressions which will, thereafter, flow natu- 
rally and involuntarily into the field of con- 
sciousness when the mind is thinking upon 
the associated subject or line of thought ; and 
which may also be "re-collected" by a volun- 
tary effort with far less expenditure of 
energy than under the old methods and 

You will see this idea carried out in de- 
tail, as we progress with the various stages 
of the subject, in this work. You will see 
that the first thing to do it to find something 
to remember; then to impress that thing 
clearly and distinctly upon the receptive tab- 
lets of the memory; tnen to exercise tne re- 

16 Memory 

membranee in the direction of bringing out 
the stored-away facts of the memory ; then to 
acquire the scientific methods of recollecting 
special items of memory that may be neces- 
sary at some special time. This is the natural 
method in memory cultivation, as opposed to 
the artificial systems that you will find men- 
tioned in another chapter. It is not only de- 
velopment of the memory, but also develop- 
ment of the mind itself in several of its re- 
gions and phases of activity. It is not merely 
a method of recollecting, but also a method 
of correct seeing, thinking and remembering. 
This method recognizes the truth of the verse 
of the poet, Pope, who said: "Bemembrance 
and reflection how allied! What thin parti- 
tions sense from thought divide V* 



This book is written with the fundamental 
intention and idea of pointing out a rational 
and workable method whereby the memory 
may be developed, trained and cultivated. 
Many persons seem to be under the impres- 
sion that memories are bestowed by nature, 
in a fixed degree or possibilities, and that lit- 
tle more can be done for them— in short, that 
memories are born, not made. But the fallacy 
of any such idea is demonstrated by the in- 
vestigations and experiments of all the lead- 
ing authorities, as well as by the results ob- 
tained by persons who have developed and 
cultivated their own memories by individual 
effort without the assistance of an instructor. 
But all such improvement, to be real, must 
be along certain natural lines and in accor- 
dance with the well established lavs of psy- 
chology, instead of along artificial lines and 
in defiance of psychological principles. Cul- 


18 Memory 

tivation of the memory is a far different 
thing from " trick memory"/ f or feats of men- 
tal legerdemain if the term is permissible. 

Kay says : ' ' That the memory is capable of 
indefinite improvement, there can be no man- 
ner of doubt; but with regard to the means 
by which this improvement is to be effected 
mankind are still greatly in ignorance.' ' Dr. 
Noah Porter says: "The natural as opposed 
to the artificial memory depends on the rela- 
tions of sense and the relations of thought,— 
the spontaneous memory of the eye and the 
ear availing itself of the obvious conjunctions 
of objects which are furnished by space and 
time, and the rational memory of those higher 
combinations which the rational faculties 
superinduce upon those lower. The artificial 
memory proposes to substitute for the natural 
and necessary relations under which all ob- 
jects must present and arrange themselves, 
an entirely new set of relations that are pure- 
ly arbitrary and mechanical, which excite 
little or no other interest than that they are 
to aid us in remembering. It follows that if 
the mind tasks itself to the special effort of 
considering objects under these artificial re- 

Cultivation of Memoky 19 

lations, it will give less attention to those 
which have a direct and legitimate interest 
for itself." Granville says: "The defects of 
most methods which have been devised and 
employed for improving the memory, lies in 
the fact that while they serve to impress par- 
ticular subjects on the mind, they do not ren- 
der the memory, as a whole, ready or atten- 
tive." Fuller says: "Surely an art of mem- 
ory may be made more destructive to natural 
memory than spectacles are to eyes." These 
opinions of the best authorities might be mul- 
tiplied indefinitely— the consensus of the best 
opinion is decidedly against the artificial sys- 
tems, and in favor of the natural ones. 

Natural systems of memory culture are 
based upon the fundamental conception so 
well expressed by Helvetius, several centuries 
ago, when he said : ' ' The extent of the mem- 
ory depends, first, on the daily use we make 
of it ; secondly, upon the attention with which 
we consider the objects we would impress 
upon it ; and, thirdly, upon the order in which 
we range our ideas." This then is the list 
of the three essentials in the cultivation of 
the memory: (1) Use and exercise; review 

20 Memory 

and practice; (2) Attention and Interest; 
and (3) Intelligent Association. 

You will find that in the several chapters 
of this book dealing with the various phases 
of memory, we urge, first, last, and all the 
time, the importance of the use and employ- 
ment of the memory, in the way of employ- 
ment, exercise, practice and review work. 
Like any other mental faculty, or physical 
function, the memory will tend to atrophy 
by disuse, and increase, strengthen and de- 
velop by rational exercise and employment 
within the bounds of moderation. You de- 
velop a muscle by exercise; you train any 
special faculty of the mind in the same way ; 
and you must pursue the same method in the 
case of the memory, if you would develop it. 
Nature's laws are constant, and bear a close 
analogy to each other. You will also notice 
the great stress that we lay upon the use of 
the faculty of attention, accompanied by in- 
terest. By attention you acquire the impres- 
sions that you file away in your mental rec- 
ord-file of memory. And the degree of atten- 
tion regulates the depth, clearness and 
strength of the impression. Without a good 

Cultivation of Memory 21 

record, you cannot expect to obtain a good 
reproduction of it. A poor phonographic 
record results in a poor reproduction, and the 
rule applies in the case of the memory as 
well. You will also notice that we explain the 
laws of association, and the principles which 
govern the subject, as well as the methods 
whereby the proper associations may be 
made. Every association that you weld to an 
idea or an impression, serves as a cross-ref- 
erence in the index, whereby the thing is 
found by remembrance or recollection when 
it is needed. We call your attention to the 
fact that one's entire education depends for 
its efficiency upon this law of association. It 
is a most important feature in the rational 
cultivation of the memory, while at the same 
time being the bane of the artificial systems. 
Natural associations educate, while artificial 
ones tend to weaken the powers of the mind, 
if carried to any great length. 

There is no Royal Road to Memory. The 
cultivation of the memory depends upon the 
practice along certain scientific lines accord- 
ing to well established psychological laws. 
Those who hope for a sure " short cut" will 

22 Memoby 

be disappointed, for none such exists. As 
Halleck says: "The student ought not to be 
disappointed to find that memory is no ex- 
ception to the rule of improvement by proper 
methodical and long continued exercise. There 
is no royal road, no short cut, to the improve- 
ment of either mind or muscle. But the stu- 
dent who follows the rules which psychology 
has laid down may know that he is walking 
in the shortest path, and not wandering aim- 
lessly about. Using these rules, he will ad- 
vance much faster than those without chart, 
compass, or pilot. He will find mnemonics of 
extremely limited use. Improvement comes 
by orderly steps. Methods that dazzle at 
first sight never give solid results.' ' 

The student is urged to pay attention to 
what we have to say in other chapters of the 
book upon the subjects of attention and as- 
sociation. It is not necessary to state here 
the particulars that' we mention there. The 
cultivation of the attention is a prerequisite 
for good memory, and deficiency in this re- 
spect means deficiency not only in the field 
of memory but also in the general field of 
mental work. In all branches of The New 

Cultivation of Memoby 23 

Psychology there is found a constant repeti- 
tion of the injunction to cultivate the faculty 
of attention and concentration. Halleck 
says : "Haziness of perception lies at the root 
of many a bad memory. If perception is defi- 
nite, the first step has been taken toward in- 
suring a good memory. If the first impres- 
sion is vivid, its effect upon the brain cells is 
more lasting. All persons ought to practice 
their visualizing power. This will react upon 
perception and make it more definite. Visual- 
izing will also form a brain habit of re- 
membering things pictorially, and hence more 

The subject of association must also receive 
its proper share of attention, for 1 it is by 
means of association that the stored away 
records of the memory may be recovered or 
re-collected. As Blackie says: "Nothing 
helps the mind so much as order and classi- 
fication. Classes are few, individuals many: 
to know the class well is to know what is most 
essential in the character of the individual, 
and what burdens the memory least to re- 
tain.' ' And as Halleck says regarding the 
subject of association by relation: "When- 

24 Memoby 

ever we can discover any relation between 
facts, it is far easier to remember them. The 
intelligent law of memory may be summed 
up in these words : Endeavor to link by some 
thought relation each new mental acquisition 
to an old one. Bind new facts to other facts 
by relations of similarity, cause and effect, 
whole and part, or by any logical relation, 
and we shall find that when an idea occurs to 
us, a host of related ideas will flow into the 
mind. If we wish to prepare a speech or write 
an article on any subject, pertinent illustra- 
tions will suggest themselves. The person 
whose memory is merely contiguous will 
wonder how we think of them." 

In your study for the cultivation of tire 
memory, along the lines laid down in this 
book, you have read the first chapter thereof 
and have informed yourself thoroughly re- 
garding the importance of the memory to the 
individual, and what a large part it plays in 
the entire work of the mind. Now carefully 
read the third chapter and acquaint yourself 
with the possibilities in the direction of culti- 
vating the memory to a high degree, as evi- 
denced by the instances related of the extreme 

Cultivation of Memoey 25 

case of development noted therein. Then 
study the chapter on memory systems, and 
realize that the only true method is the nat- 
ural method, which requires work, patience 
and practice— then make up your mind that 
you will follow this plan as far as it will take 
you. Then acquaint yourself with the secret 
of memory— the subconscious region of the 
mind, in which the records of memory are 
kept, stored away and indexed, and in which 
the little mental office-boys are busily at work. 
This will give you the key to the method. 
Then take up the two chapters on attention, 
and association, respectively, and acquaint 
yourself with these important principles. 
Then study the chapter on the phases of mem- 
ory, and take mental stock of yourself, deter- 
mining in which phase of memory you are 
strongest, and in which you need develop- 
ment. Then read the two chapters on train- 
ing the eye and ear, respectively— you need 
this instruction. Then read over the several 
chapters on the training of the special phases 
of the memory, whether you need them or not 
—you may find something of importance in 
them. Then read the concluding chapter, 

26 Memoey 

which gives you some general advice and 
parting instruction. Then return to the 
chapters dealing with the particular phases 
of memory in which you have decided to de- 
velop yourself, studying the details of the 
instruction carefully until you know every 
point of it. Then, most important of all— get 
to work. The rest is a matter of practice, 
practice, practice, and rehearsal. Go back to 
the chapters from time to time, and refresh 
your mind regarding the details. Ke-read 
each chapter at intervals. Make the book 
your own, in every sense of the word, by ab- 
sorbing its contents. 



In order that the student may appreciate 
the marvelous extent of development possible 
to the memory, we have thought it advisable 
to mention a number of celebrated cases, past 
and present. In so doing we have no desire 
to hold up these cases as worthy of imitation, 
for they are exceptional and not necessary 
in every-day life. We mention them merely 
to show to what wonderful extent develop- 
ment along these lines is possible. 

In India, in the past, the sacred books were 
committed to memory, and handed down from 
teacher to student, for ages. And even to-day 
it is no uncommon thing for the student to 
be able to repeat, word for word, some volum- 
inous religious work equal in extent to the 
New Testament. Max Muller states that the 
entire text and glossary of Panini's Sanscrit 
grammar, equal in extent to the entire Bible, 
were handed down orally for several centuries 


28 Memoby 

before being committed to writing. There 
are Brahmins to-day who have com m itted to 
memory, and who can repeat at will, the en- 
tire collection of religious poems known as 
the Mahabarata, consisting of over 300,000 
slokas or verses. Leland states that, "the 
Slavonian minstrels of the present day have 
by heart with remarkable accuracy immensely 
long epic poems. I have found the same 
among Algonquin Indians whose sagas or 
mythic legends are interminable, and yet are 
committed word by word accurately. I have 
heard in England of a lady ninety years of 
age whose memory was miraculous, and of 
which extraordinary instances are narrated 
by her friends. She attributed it to the fact 
that when young she had been made to learn 
a verse from the Bible every day, and then 
constantly review it. As her memory im- 
proved, she learned more, the result being 
that in the end she could repeat from memory 
any verse or chapter called for in the whole 
Scripture/ ' 

It is related that Mithridates, the ancient 
warrior-king, knew the name of every soldier 
in his great army, and conversed fluently in 

Celebrated Cases 29 

twenty-two dialects. Pliny relates that Char- 
mides could repeat the contents of every 
book in his large library. Hortensius, the 
Roman orator, had a remarkable memory 
which enabled him to retain and recollect the 
exact words of his opponent's argument, 
without making a single notation. On a wager, 
he attended a great auction sale which lasted 
over an entire day, and then called off in their 
proper order every object sold, the name of 
its purchaser, and the price thereof. Seneca 
is said to have acquired the ability to memo- 
rize several thousand proper names, and to 
repeat them in the order in which they had 
been given him, and also to reverse the order 
and call off the list backward. He also ac- 
complished the feat of listening to several 
hundred persons, each of whom gave him a 
verse; memorizing the same as they pro- 
ceeded; and then repeating them word for 
word in the exact order of their delivery— 
and then reversing the process, with com- 
plete success. Eusebius stated that only the 
memory of Esdras saved the Hebrew Scrip- 
tures to the world, for when the Chaldeans 
destroyed the manuscripts Esdras was able 

30 Memoby 

to repeat them, word by word to the scribes, 
who then reproduced them. The Moham- 
medan scholars are able to repeat the entire 
text of the Koran, letter perfect. Scaliger 
committed the entire text of the Iliad and the 
Odyssey, in three weeks. Ben Jonson is said 
to have been able to repeat all of his own 
works from memory, with the greatest ease. 
Bulwer could repeat the Odes of Horace 
from memory. Pascal could repeat the entire 
Bible, from beginning to end, as well as being 
able to recall any given paragraph, verse, 
line, or chapter. Landor is said to have read 
a book but once, when he would dispose of it, 
having impressed it upon his memory, to be 
recalled years after, if necessary. Byron 
could recite all of his own poems. Buffon 
could repeat his works from beginning to end. 
Bryant possessed the same ability to repeat 
his own works. Bishop Saunderson could re- 
peat the greater part of Juvenal and Per- 
seus, all of Tully, and all of Horace. Fedo- 
sova, a Bussian peasant, could repeat over 
25,000 poems, folk-songs, legends, fairy-tales, 
war stories, etc., when she was over seventy 

Celebrated Cases 31 

years of age. The celebrated " Blind Alick," 
an aged Scottish beggar, could repeat any 
verse in the Bible called for, as well as the 
entire text of all the chapters and books. 
The newspapers, a few years ago, contained 
the accounts of a man named Clark who lived 
in New York City. He is said to have been 
able to give the exact presidential vote in each 
State of the Union since the first election. He 
could give the population in every town of 
any size in the world either present or in the 
past providing there was a) record of the 
same. He could quote from Shakespeare for 
hours at a time beginning at any given point 
in any play. He could recite the entire text 
of the Iliad in the original Greek. 

The historical case of the unnamed Dutch- 
man is known to all students of memory. 
This man is said to have been able to take up 
a fresh newspaper ; to read it all through, in- 
cluding the advertisements; and then to re- 
peat its contents, word for word, from begin- 
ning to end. On one occasion he is said to 
have heaped wonder upon wonder, by repeat- 
ing the contents of the paper backward, be- 

32 Memoby 

ginning with the last word and ending with 
the first. Lyon, the English actor, is said to 
have duplicated this feat, using a large Lon- 
don paper and including the market quota- 
tions, reports of the debates in Parliament, 
the railroad time-tables and the advertise- 
ments. A London waiter is said to have per- 
formed a similar feat, on a wager, he memor- 
izing and correctly repeating the contents of 
an eight-page paper. One of the most re- 
markable instances of extraordinary memory 
known to history is that of the child Christian 
Meinecken. When less than four years of 
age he could repeat the entire Bible ; two hun- 
dred hymns ; five thousand Latin words ; and 
much ecclesiastical history, theory, dogmas, 
arguments; and an encyclopaedic quantity of 
theological literature. He ia said to have 
practically retained every word that was read 
to him. His case was abnormal, and he died 
at an early age. 

John Stuart Mill is said to have acquired a 
fair knowledge of Greek, at the age of three 
years, and to have memorized Hume, Gibbon, 
and other historians, at the age of eight. 

Celebrated Cases 33 

Shortly after lie mastered and memorized 
Herodotus, Xenophon, some of Socrates, and 
six of Plato ? s ' ' Dialogues. ' ' Bichard Porson 
is said to have memorized the entire text of 
Homer, Horace, Cicero, Virgil, Livy, Shake- 
speare, Milton, and Gibbon. He is said to 
have been able to memorize any ordinary 
novel at one careful reading; and to have 
several times performed the feat of memoriz- 
ing the entire contents of some English 
monthly review. De Eossi was able to per- 
form the feat of repeating a hundred lines 
from any of the four great Italian poets, 
provided he was given a line at random from 
their works— his hundred lines following im- 
mediately after the given line. Of course this 
feat required the memorizing of the entire 
works of those poets, and the ability to take 
up the repetition from any given point, the 
latter feature being as remarkable as the 
former. There have been cases of printers 
being able to repeat, word for word, books 
of which they had set the type. Professor 
Lawson was able to teach his classes on the 
Scriptures without referring to the book. He 

34 Memory 

claimed that if the entire stock of Bibles 
were to be destroyed, lie could restore the 
book entire, from his memory. 

Eev. Thomas Fuller is said to have been 
able to walk down a long London street, read- 
ing the names of the signs on both sides ; then 
recalling them in the order in which they had 
been seen, and then by reversing the order. 
There are many cases on record of persons 
who memorized the words of every known 
tongue of civilization, as well as a great num- 
ber of dialects, languages, and tongues of 
savage races. Bossuet had memorized the 
entire Bible, and Homer, Horace and Virgil 
beside. Niebuhr, the historian, was once em- 
ployed in a government office, the records of 
which were destroyed. He, thereupon, re- 
stored the entire contents of the book of rec- 
ords which he had written— all from his mem- 
ory. Asa Gray knew the names of ten 
thousand plants. Milton had a vocabulary 
of twenty thousand words, and Shakespeare 
one of twenty-five thousand. Cuvier and 
Agassiz are said to have memorized lists of 
several thousand species and varieties of ani- 

Celebrated Cases 35 

mals. Magliabechi, the librarian of Florence, 
is said to have known the location of every 
volume in the large library of which he was 
in charge; and the complete list of works 
along certain lines in all the other great libra- 
ries. He once claimed that he was able to 
repeat titles of over a half-million of books 
in many languages, and upon many subjects. 
In nearly every walk of life are to be found 
persons with memories (wonderfully devel- 
oped along the lines of their particular occu- 
pation. Librarians possess this faculty to an 
unusual degree. Skilled workers in the finer 
lines of manufacture also manifest a wonder- 
ful memory for the tiny parts of the manu- 
factured article, etc. Bank officers have a 
wonderful memory for names and faces. 
Some lawyers are able to recall cases quoted 
in the authorities, years after they have read 
-them. Perhaps the most common, and yet 
the most remarkable, instances of memoriz- 
ing in one's daily work is to be found in the 
cases of the theatrical profession. In some 
cases members of stock companies must not 
only be able to repeat the lines of the play 

36 Memory 

they are engaged in acting at the time, but 
also the one that they are rehearsing for the 
following week, and possibly the one for the 
second week. And in repertoire companies 
the actors are required to be "letter-perfect" 
in a dozen or more plays— surely a wonderful 
feat, and yet one so common that no notice 
is given to it. 

In some of the celebrated cases, the degree 
of recollection manifested is undoubtedly ab- 
normal, but in the majority of the cases it 
may be seen that the result has been obtained 
only by the use of natural methods and per- 
sistent exercise. That wonderful memories 
may be acquired by anyone who will devote 
to the task patience, time and work, is a fact 
generally acknowledged by all students of the 
subject. It is not a gift, but something to 
be won by effort and work along scientific 



The subject of Memory Development is not 
a new one by any means. For two thousand 
years, at least, there has been much thought 
devoted to the subject; many books written 
thereupon; and many methods or "systems" 
invented, the purpose of which has been the 
artificial training of the memory. Instead of 
endeavoring to develop the memory by scien- 
tific training and rational practice and exer- 
cise along natural lines, there seems to have 
always been an idea that one could improve on 
Nature's methods, and that a plan might be 
devised by the use of some " trick "' the mem- 
ory might be taught to give up her hidden 
treasures. The law of Association has been 
used in the majority of these systems, often to 
a ridiculous degree. Fanciful systems have 
been built up, all artificial in their character 
and nature, the use of which to any great ex- 
tent is calculated to result in a decrease of 


38 Memory 

the natural powers of remembrance and rec- 
ollection, just as in the case of natural "aids" 
to the physical system there is always found 
a decrease in the natural powers. Nature 
prefers to do her own work, unaided. She 
may be trained, led, directed and harnessed, 
but she insists upon doing the work herself, 
or dropping the task. The principle of Asso- 
ciation is an important one, and forms a part 
of natural memory training, and should be 
so used. But when pressed into service in 
many of the artificial systems, the result is 
the erection of a complex and unnatural 
mental mechanism which is no more an im- 
provement upon the natural methods, than 
a wooden leg is an improvement upon the 
original limb. There are many points in 
some of these "systems" which may be em- 
ployed to advantage in natural memory train- 
ing, by divorcing them from their fantastic 
rules and complex arrangement. We ask you 
to run over the list of the principal "sys- 
tems" with us, that you may discard the 
useless material by recognizing it as such; 
and cull the valuable for your own use. 

Memory Systems 39 

The ancient Greeks were fond of memory 
systems. Simonides, the Greek poet who 
lived about 500 B. C. was one of the early 
authorities, and his work has influenced 
nearly all of the many memory systems that 
have sprung up since that time. There is a 
romantic story connected with the foundation 
of his system. It is related that the poet 
was present at a large banquet attended by 
some of the principal men of the place. He 
was called out by a message from home, 
and left before the close of the meal. 
Shortly after he left, the ceiling of the ban- 
quet hall fell upon the guests, killing all 
present in the room, and mutilating their 
bodies so terribly that their friends were un- 
able to recognize them. Simonides, having 
a well-developed memory for places and posi- 
tion, was able to recall the exact order in 
which each guest had been seated, and there- 
fore was able to aid in the identification of 
the remains. This occurrence impressed him 
so forcibly that he devised a system of mem- 
ory based upon the idea of position, which at- 
tained great popularity in Greece, and the 

&0 Memory 

leading writers of the day highly recom- 
mended it. 

The system of Simonides was based upon 
the idea of position— it was known as "the 
topical system," His students were taught 
to picture in the mind a large building divided 
into sections, and then into rooms, halls, etc. 
The thing to be remembered was ' i visualized" 
as occupying some certain space or place in 
that building, the grouping being made ac- 
cording to association and resemblance. 
When one wished to recall the things to con- 
sciousness, all (that was necessary was [to 
visualize the mental building and then take 
an imaginary trip from room to room, calling 
off the various things as they had been placed. 
The Greeks thought very highly of this plan, 
and many variations of it were employed. 
Cicero said: "By those who would improve 
the memory, certain places must be fixed 
upon, and of those things which they desire 
to keep in memory symbols must be conceived 
in the mind and ranged, as it were, in those 
places; thus, the order of places would pre- 
serve the order of things, and the symbols 

Memory Systems 41 

of the things would denote the things them- 
selves; so that we should use the places as 
waxen tablets and the symbols as letters.' ' 
Quintillian advises students to "fix in their 
minds places of the greatest possible extent, 
diversified by considerable variety, such as a 
]arge house, for example, divided into many 
apartments. Whatever is remarkable in it is 
carefully impressed on the mind, so that the 
thought may run over every part of it without 
hesitation or delay. . . . Places we must 
have, either fancied or selected, and images 
or symbols which we may invent at pleasure. 
These symbols are marks by which we may 
distinguish the particulars which we have to 
get by heart. ' ' 

Many modern systems have been erected 
upon the foundation of Simionides and in some 
of which cases students have been charged 
high prices "for the secret.' ' The following 
outline given by Kay gives the " secret' ' of 
many a high priced system of this class : i ' Se- 
lect a number of rooms, and divide the walls 
and floor of each, in imagination, into nine 
equal parts or squares, three in a row. On 

42 Memory 

the front wall— that opposite the entrance— 
of the first room, are the units ; on the right- 
hand wall the tens ; on the left hand the twen- 
ties; on the fourth wall the thirties; and on 
the floor the forties. Numbers 10, 20, 30 and 
40, each find a place on the roof above their 
respective walls, while 50 occupies the centre 
of the room. One room will thus furnish 50 
places, and ten rooms as many as 500. Hav- 
ing fixed these clearly in the mind, so as to 
be able readily and at once to tell exactly the 
position of each place or number, it is then 
necessary to associate with each of them some 
familiar object (or symbol) so that the ob- 
ject being suggested its place may be instantly 
remembered, or when the place be before the 
mind its object may immediately spring up. 
When this has been done thoroughly, the ob- 
jects can be run over in any order from be- 
ginning to end, or from end to beginning, or 
the place of any particular one can at once be 
given. All that is further necessary is to as- 
sociate the ideas we wish to remember with 
the objects in the various places, by which 
means they are easily remembered, and can 

• Memory Systems 43 

be gone over in any order. In this way one 
may learn to repeat several hundred discon- 
nected words or ideas in any order after hear- 
ing them only once." We do not consider it 
necessary to argue in detail the fact that this 
system is artificial and cumbersome to a great 
degree. While the idea of "position" may 
be employed to some advantage in grouping 
together in the memory several associated 
facts, ideas, or words, still the idea of employ- 
ing a process such as the above in the ordin- 
ary affairs of life is ridiculous, and any sys- 
tem based upon it has a value only as a 
curiosity, or a mental acrobatic feat. 

Akin to the above is the idea underlying 
many other "systems," and "secret meth- 
ods"— the idea of Contiguity, in which words 
are strung together by fanciful connecting 
links. Feinagle describes this underlying 
idea, or principle, as follows: "The recol- 
lection of them is assisted by associating some 
idea of relation between the two; and as we 
find by experience that whatever is ludicrous 
is calculated to make a strong impression on 
the mind, the more ridiculous the association 

44 Memoky 

is the better." The systems founded upon 
this idea may be employed to repeat a long 
string of disconnected tarords, and similar 
things,, but have but little practical value, 
notwithstanding the high prices charged for 
them. They serve merely as curiosities, or 
methods of performing "tricks" to amuse 
one's friends. Dr. Kothe, a German teacher, 
about the middle of the nineteenth century 
founded this last school of memory training, 
his ideas serving as the foundation for many 
teachers of high-priced "systems" or "secret 
methods" since that time. The above descrip- 
tion of Feinagle gives the key to the prin- 
ciple employed. The working of the principle 
is accomplished by the employment of "inter- 
mediates" or "correlatives" as they are 
called; for instance, the words "chimney" 
and "leaf" would be connected as follows: 
' ' Chimney—smoke —wood— tree— Leaf. ' ' 

Then there are systems or methods based 
on the old principle of the "Figure Alpha- 
bet," in which one is taught to remember 
dates by associating them with letters or 
words. For instance, one of the teachers of 

Memory Systems 45 

this class of systems, wished his pupils to 
remember the year 1480 by the word "BiG 
RaT," the capitals representing the figures 
in the date. Comment is unnecessary ! 

The student will find that nearly all the 
"systems" or "secret methods" that are be- 
ing offered for sale in "courses," often at 
a very high price, are merely variations, im- 
provements upon, or combinations of the 
three forms of artificial methods named 
above. New changes are constantly being 
worked on these old plans; new tunes played 
on the same old instruments; new chimes 
sounded from the same old bells. And the re- 
sult is ever the same, in these cases— disap- 
pointment and disgust. There are a few 
natural systems on the market, nearly all of 
which contain information and instruction 
that makes them worth the price at which 
they are sold. As for the others— well, judge 
for yourself after purchasing them, if you so 

Regarding these artificial and fanciful sys- 
tems, Kay says: "All such systems for the 
improvement of the memory belong to what 

46 Memory 

we have considered the first or lowest form 
of it. They are for the most part based on 
light or foolish associations which have little 
foundation in nature, and are hence of little 
practical utility ; and they do not tend to im- 
prove or strengthen the memory as a whole.' ' 
Bacon says that these systems are "barren 
and useless,' ' adding: "For immediately to 
repeat a multitude of names or words once 
repeated before, I esteem no more than rope- 
dancing, antic postures, and feats of activity; 
and, indeed, they are nearly the same things, 
the one being the abuse of the bodily as the 
other of the mental powers; and though they 
may cause admiration, they cannot be highly 
esteemed." And as another authority has 
said: "The systems of mnemonics as 
taught, are no better than crutches, useful to 
those who cannot walk, but impediments and 
hindrances to those who have the use of their 
limbs, and who only require to exercise them 
properly in order to have the full use of 

In this work, there shall be no attemipt to 
teach any of these "trick systems" that the 


Memory Systems 47 

student may perform for the amusement of 
his friends. Instead, there is only the desire 
to aid in developing the power to receive im- 
pressions, to register them upon the memory, 
and readily to reproduce them at will, natu- 
rally and easily. The lines of natural mental 
action will be followed throughout. The idea 
of this work is not to teach how one may per- 
form "f eats' ' of memory; but, instead, to in- 
struct in the intelligent and , practical use of 
the memory in the affairs of every-day life 
and work. 



The old writers on the subject were wont to 
consider the memory as a separate faculty of 
[the mind, but this idea disappeared before 
the advancing tide of knowledge which re- 
sulted in the acceptance of the conception now 
known as The New Psychology. This new 
conception recognizes the existence of a vast 
"out of consciousness' ' region of the mind, 
one phase of which is known as the subcon- 
scious mind, or the subconscious field of men- 
tal activities. In this field of mentation the ac- 
tivities of memory have their seat. A careful 
consideration of the subject brings the cer- 
tainty that the entire work of the memory is 
performed in this subconscious region of the 
mind. Only when the subconscious record is 
represented to the conscious field, and recol- 
lection or remembrance results, does the mem- 
orized idea or impression emerge from the 
subconscious region. An understanding of 


Subconscious Record File 49 

this fact simplifies the entire subject of the 
memory, and enables us to perfect plans and 
methods whereby the memory may be devel- 
oped, improved and trained, by means of the 
direction of the subconscious activities by the 
use of the conscious faculties and the will. 

Hering says: "Memory is a faculty not 
only of our conscious states, but also, and 
I much more so, of our unconscious ones." 
; Kay says: "It is impossible to understand 
the true nature of memory, or how to train 
it aright, unless we have a clear conception 
of the fact that there is much in the mind of 
which we are unconscious. . . . The 
highest form of memory, as of all the mental 
powers, is the unconscious— when what we 
wish to recall comes to us spontaneously, 
without any conscious thought or search for 
it. Frequently when we wish to recall some- 
thing that has previously been in the mind 
we are unable to do so by any conscious effort 
of the will ; but we turn the attention to some- 
thing else, and after a time the desired in- 
formation comes up spontaneously when we 
are not consciously thinking of it." Carpen- 

50 Memory 

ter says: " There is the working of a mech- 
anism beneath the consciousness which, when 
once set going, runs on of itself, and which 
is more likely to evolve the desired result 
when the conscious activity of the mind is ex- 
erted in a direction altogether different." 

This subconscious region of the mind is the 
great record-file of everything we have ever 
experienced, thought or known. Everything 
is recorded there. The best authorities now 
generally agree that there is no such thing as 
an absolute forgetting of even the most 
minute impression, notwithstanding the fact 
that we may be unable to recollect or remem- 
ber it, owing to its faintness, or lack of as- 
sociated "indexing." It is held that every- 
thing is to be found in that subconscious 
index-file, if we can only manage to find its 
place. Kay says: "In like manner we be- 
lieve that every impression or thought that 
has once been before consciousness remains 
ever afterward impressed upon the mind. It 
may never again come up before conscious- 
ness, but it will doubtless remain in that vast 
ultra-conscious region of the mind, uncon- 

Subconscious Record File 51 

sciously moulding and fashioning our subse- 
quent thoughts and actions. It is only a small 
part of what exists in the mind that we are 
conscious of. There is always much that is 
known to be in the mind that exists in it un- 
consciously, and must be stored away some- 
where. We may be able to recall it into con- 
sciousness when we wish to do so; but at 
other times the mind is unconscious of its ex- 
istence. Further, every one's experience 
must tell him that there is much in his mind 
that he cannot always recall when he may 
wish to do so,— much that he can recover only 
after a labored search, or that he may search 
for in vain at the time, but which may occur 
to him afterwards when perhaps he is not 
thinking about it. Again, much that we prob- 
ably would never be able to recall, or that 
would not recur to us under ordinary circum- 
stances, we may remember to have had in the 
mind when it is mentioned to us by others. 
In such a case there must still have remained 
some trace or scintilla of it in the mind be- 
fore we could recognize it as having been 
there before. " 

52 Memory 

Morell says: "We have every reason to 
believe that mental power when once called 
forth follows the analogy of everything we 
see in the material universe in the fact of its 
perpetuity. Every single effort of mind is a 
creation which can never go back again into 
nonentity. It may slumber in the depths of 
f orgetf ulness as light and heat slumber in the 
coal seams, but there it is, ready at the bid- 
ding of some appropriate stimulus to come 
again out of the darkness into the light of 
consciousness/ ' Beattie says: "That which 
has been long forgotten, nay, that which we 
have often in vain endeavored to recollect, 
will sometimes without an effort of ours occur 
to us on a sudden, and, if I may so speak, of 
its own accord.' ' Hamilton says: "The 
mind frequently contains whole systems of 
knowledge which, though in our normal state 
they may have faded into absolute oblivion, 
may in certain abnormal states, as madness, 
delirium, somnambulism, catalepsy, etc., flash 
out into luminous consciousness. . . .For 
example, there are cases in which the extinct 
memory of whole languages were suddenly re- 

Subconscious Eecord File 53 

stored.' ' Lecky says: "It is now fully es- 
tablished that a multitude of events which 
are so completely forgotten that no effort of 
the will can revive them, and that the state- 
ment of them calls up no reminiscences, may 
nevertheless be, so to speak, embedded in the 
memory, and may be reproduced with intense 
vividness under certain physical conditions/ ' 
In proof of the above, the authorities give 
many instances recorded in scientific annals. 
Coleridge relates the well-known case of the 
old woman who could neither read nor write, 
who when in the delirium of fever incessantly 
recited in very pompous tones long passages 
from the Latin, Greek and Hebrew, with a 
distinct enunciation and precise rendition. 
Notes of her ravings were taken down by 
shorthand, and caused much wonderment, 
until it was afterwards found that in her 
youth she had been employed as a servant in 
the house of a clergyman who was in the habit 
of walking up and down in his study reading 
aloud from his favorite classical and relig- 
ious writers. In his books were found marked 
passages corresponding to the notes taken 

54 Memory 

from the girl's ravings. Her subconscious 
memory had stored up the sounds of these 
passages heard in her early youth, but of 
which she had no recollection in her normal 
state. Beaufort, describing his sensations 
just before being rescued from drowning 
says: " Every incident of my former life 
seemed to glance across my recollection in a 
retrograde procession, not in mere outline, 
but in a picture filled with every minute and 
collateral feature, thus forming a panoramic 
view of my whole existence. ' ' 

Kay truly observes: "By adopting the 
opinion that every thought or impression that 
had once been consciously before the mind is 
ever afterwards retained, we obtain light on 
many obscure mental phenomena ; and especi- 
ally do we draw from it the conclusion of the 
perfectibility of the memory to an almost 
unlimited extent. We cannot doubt that, 
could we penetrate to the lowest depths of 
our mental nature, we should there find traces 
of every impression we have received, every 
thought we have entertained, and every act 
we have done through our past life, each one 

Subconscious Eecoed File 55 

making its influence felt in the way of build- 
ing up our present knowledge, or in guiding 
our every-day actions ; and if they persist in 
the mind, might it not be possible to recall 
most if not all of them into consciousness 
when we wished to do so, if our memories or 
powers of recollection were what they should 

As we have said, this great subconscious 
region of the mind— this Memory region- 
may be thought of as a great record file, with 
an intricate system of indexes, and office 
boys whose business it is to file away the 
records ; to index them ; and to find them when 
needed. The records record only what we have 
impressed upon them by the attention, the de- 
gree of depth and clearness depending en- 
tirely upon the degree of attention which we 
bestowed upon the original impression. We 
can never expect to have the office boys of 
the memory bring up anything that they have 
not been given to file away. The indexing, 
and cross-references are supplied by the as- 
sociation existing between the various im- 
pressions. The more cross-references, or as- 

56 Memoby 

sociations that are connected with an idea, 
thought or impression that is filed away in the 
memory, the greater the chances of it being 
found readily when wanted. These two fea- 
tures of attention and association, and the 
parts they play in the phenomena of memory, 
are mentioned in detail in other chapters of 
this book. 

These little office boys of the memory are 
an industrious and willing lot of little chaps, 
but like all boys they do their best work when 
kept in practice. Idleness and lack of exer- 
cise cause them to become slothful and care- 
less, and forgetful of the records under their 
charge. A little fresh exercise and work soon 
take the cobwebs out of their brains, and they 
spring eagerly to their tasks. They become 
familiar with their work when exercised prop- 
erly, and soon become very expert. They 
have a tendency to remember, on their own 
part, and when a certain record is called for 
often they grow accustomed to its place, and 
can find it without referring to the indexes 
at all. But their trouble comes from faint 
and almost illegible records, caused by poor 

Subconscious Record File 57 

attention— these they can scarcely decipher 
when they do succeed in finding them. Lack 
of proper indexing by associations causes 
them much worry and extra work, and some- 
times they are unable to find the records at 
all from this neglect. Often, however, after 
they have told you that they could not find 
a thing, and you have left the place in dis- 
gust, they will continue their search and 
hours afterward will surprise you by handing 
you the desired idea, or impression, which 
they had found carelessly indexed or improp- 
erly filed away. In these chapters you will be 
helped, if you will carry in your mind these 
little office boys of the memory record file, 
and the hard work they have to do for you, 
much of which is made doubly burdensome by 
your own neglect and carelessness. Treat 
these little fellows right and they will work 
overtime for you, willingly and joyfully. But 
they need your assistance and encourage- 
ment, and an occasional word of praise and 



As we have seen in the preceding chapters, 
before one can expect to recall or remember a 
thing, that thing must have been impressed 
upon the records of his subconsciousness, dis- 
tinctly and clearly. And the main factor of 
the recording of impressions is that quality 
of the mind that we call Attention. All the 
leading authorities on the subject of memory 
recognize and teach the value of attention in 
{the cultivation and development of the mem- 
ory. Tupper says: "Memory, the daughter 
of Attention, is the teeming mother of wis- 
dom. ' 9 Lowell says : i ' Attention is the stuff 
that Memory is made of, and Memory is ac- 
cumulated Genius." Hall says: "In the 
power of fixing the attention lies the most 
precious of the intellectual habits.' ' Locke 
says : "When the ideas that offer themselves 
are taken notice of, and, as it were, registered 
in the memory, it is Attention." Stewart 


Attention 59 

says: "The permanence of the impression 
which anything leaves on the memory, is 
proportionate to the degree of attention which 
was originally given to it." Thompson says : 
"The experiences most permanently im- 
pressed upon consciousness are those upon 
which the greatest amount of attention has 
been fixed." Beattie says: "The force 
wherewith anything strikes the mind is gen- 
erally in proportion to the degree of atten- 
tion bestowed upon it. The great art of mem- 
ory is attention. . • . Inattentive people 
have always bad memories." Kay says: "It 
is generally held by philosophers that with- 
out some degree of attention no impression 
of any duration could be made on the mind, 
or laid up in the memory." Hamilton says: 
"It is a law of the mind that the intensity of 
the present consciousness determines the vi- 
vacity of the future memory; memory and 
consciousness are thus in the direct ratio of 
each other. Vivid consciousness, long mem- 
ory; faint consciousness, short memory; no 
consciousness, no memory. . . . An act 
of attention, that is an act of concentration, 

60 Memoby 

seems thus necessary to every exertion of 
consciousness, as a certain contraction of the 
pupil is requisite to every exertion of vision. 
Attention, then, is to consciousness what the 
contraction of the pupil is to sight, or to the 
eye of the mind what the microscope or tele- 
scope is to the bodily eye. It constitutes the 
better half of all intellectual power.' ' 

We have quoted from the above authorities 
at considerable length, for the purpose of im- 
pressing upon your mind the importance of 
this subject of Attention. The subconscious 
regions of the mind are the great storehouses 
of the mental records of impressions from 
within and without. Its great systems of fil- 
ing, recording and indexing these records con- 
stitute that which we call memory. But be- 
fore any of this work is possible, impressions 
must first have been received. And, as you 
may see from the quotations just given, these 
impressions depend upon the power of atten- 
tion given to the things making the impres- 
sions. If there has been given great atten- 
tion, there will be clear and deep impressions ; 
if there has been given but average attention, 

Attention 61 

there will be but average impressions; if 
there has been given but faint attention, there 
will be but faint impressions; if there has 
been given no attention, there will be no rec- 
ords. \ 

One of the most common causes of poor J^\ 
attention is to be found in the lack of interest. 
We are apt to remember the things in which 
we have been most interested, because in that 
outpouring of interest there has been a high 
degree of attention manifested. A man may 
have a very poor memory for many things, 
but when it comes to the things in which his 
interest is involved he often remembers the 
most minute details. What is called involun- 
tary attention is that form of attention that 
follows upon interest, curiosity, or desire- 
no special effort of the will being required in 
it. What is called voluntary attention is that 
form of attention that is bestowed upon ob- 
jects not necesarily interesting, curious, or 
attractive— this requires the application of 
the will, and is a mark of a developed charac- 
ter. Every person has more or less involun- 
tary attention, while but few possess devel- 

62 Memory 

oped voluntary attention. The former is in- 
stinctive—the latter comes only by practice 
and training. 

But there is this important point to be re- 
membered, that interest may be developed by 
voluntary attention bestowed and held upon 
an object. Things that are originally lack- 
ing in sufficient interest to attract the invol- 
untary attention may develop a secondary 
interest if the voluntary attention be placed 
upon and held upon them. As Halleck says 
on this point: "When it is said that atten- 
tion will not take a firm hold on an uninterest- 
ing thing, we must not forget that anyone 
not shallow and fickle can soon discover some- 
thing interesting in most objects. Here cul- 
tivated minds show their especial superiority, 
for the attention which they are able to give 
generally ends in finding a pearl in the most 
uninteresting looking oyster. When an ob- 
ject necessarily loses interest from one point 
of view, such minds discover in it new at- 
tributes. The essence of genius is to present 
an old thing in new ways, whether it be some 
force in nature or some aspect of humanity." 

Attention 63 

It is very difficult to teach another person 
how to cultivate the attention. This because 
the whole thing consists so largely in the use 
of the will, and by faithful practice and per- 
sistent application. The first requisite is the 
determination to use the will. You must argue 
it out with yourself, until you become con- 
vinced that it is necessary and desirable for 
you to acquire the art of voluntary attention 
—you must convince yourself beyond reason- 
able doubt. This is the first step and one 
more difficult than it would seem at first sight. 
The principal difficulty in it lies in the fact 
that to do the thing you must do some active 
earnest thinking, and the majority of people 
are too lazy to indulge in such mental effort. 
Having mastered this first step, you must 
induce a strong burning desire to acquire the 
art of voluntary attention— you must learn 
to want it hard. In this way you induce a 
condition of interest and attractiveness where 
it was previously lacking. Third and last, 
you must hold your will firmly and persist- 
ently to the task, and practice faithfully. 

Begin by turning your attention upon some 

64 Memory 

uninteresting thing and studying its details 
until you are able to describe them. This 
fwill prove very tiresome at first but you must 
stick to it. Do not practice too long at a time 
at first; take a rest and try it again later. You 
will soon find that it comes easier, and that 
a new interest is beginning to manifest itself 
in the task. Examine this book, as practice, 
learn how many pages there are in it; how 
many chapters; how many pages in each 
chapter; the details of type, printing and 
binding— all the little things about it— so 
that you could give another person a full ac- 
count of the minor details of the book. This 
may seem uninteresting— and so it will be at 
first— but a little practice will create a new 
interest in the petty details, and you will be 
surprised at the number of little things that 
you will notice. This plan, practiced on many 
things, in spare hours, will develop the power 
of voluntary attention and perception in any- 
one, no matter how deficient he may have 
been in these things. If you can get some one 
else to join in the game-task with you, and 
then each endeavor to excel the other in find- 

Attention 65 

ing details, the task will be much easier, and 
better work will be accomplished. Begin to 
take notice of things about you; the places 
you visit; the things in the rooms, etc. In 
this way you will start the habit of "noticing 
things, ' 9 which is the first requisite for mem- 
ory development. 

Halleck gives the following excellent advice 
on this subject: "To look at a thing intel- 
ligently is the most difficult of all arts. The 
first rule for the cultivation of accurate per- 
ception is : Do not try to perceive the whole 
of a complex object at once. Take the human 
face as an example. A man, holding an im- 
portant position to which he had been elected, 
offended many people because he could not 
remember faces, and hence failed to recog- 
nize individuals the second time he met them. 
His trouble was in looking at the countenance 
as a whole. When he changed his method of 
observation, and noticed carefully the nose, 
mouth, eyes, chin, and color of hair, he at 
once began to find recognition easier. He was 
no longer in difficulty of mistaking A for B, 
since he remembered that the shape of B's 

66 Memory 

nose was different, or the color of his hair at 
least three shades lighter. This example 
shows that another rale can be formulated : 
Pay careful attention to details. We are per- 
haps asked to give a minute description of 
the exterior of a somewhat noted suburban 
house that we have lately seen. We reply in 
general terms, giving the size and color of 
the house. Perhaps we also have an idea of 
part of the material used in the exterior con- 
struction. We are asked to be exact about the 
shape of the door, porch, roof, chimneys and 
[windows; whether the windows are plain or 
circular, whether they have cornices, or 
whether the trimmings around them: are of 
the same material as the rest of the house. A! 
friend, who will be unable to see the house, 
wishes to know definitely about the angles of 
the roof, and the way the windows are ar- 
ranged with reference to them. Unless we 
can answer these questions exactly, we merely 
tantalize our friends by telling them we have 
seen the house. To see an object merely as 
an undiscriminated mass of something in a 
certain place, is to do no more than a donkey 
accomplishes as he trots along." 

Attention 67 

There are three general rules that may be 
given in this matter of bestowing the volun- 
tary attention in the direction of actually 
seeing things, instead of merely looking at 
them. The first is : Make yourself take an 
interest in the thing. The second: See it 
as if you were taking note of it in order to 
repeat its details to a friend— this will force 
you to "take notice.' ' The third: Give to 
your subconsciousness a mental command to 
take note of what you are looking at— say to 
it; "Here, you take note of this and remem- 
ber it for me !" This last consists of a pecu- 
liar "knack" that can be attained by a little 
practice— it will "come to you" suddenly 
after a few trials. 

Regarding this third rule whereby the sub- 
consciousness is made to work for you, 
Charles Leland has the following to say, al- 
though he uses it to illustrate another point : 
"As I understand it, it is a kind of impulse or 
projection of will into the coming work. I may 
here illustrate this with a curious fact in 
physics. If the reader wished to ring a door- 
bell so as to produce as much sound as pos- 

68 Memory 

sible, he would probably pull it as far back 
as he could, and then let it go. But if he 
would, in letting it go, simply give it a tap 
with his forefinger, he would! actually re- 
double the sound. Or, to shoot an arrow as 
far as posible, it is not enough to merely 
draw the bow to its utmost span or tension. 
If, just as it goes, you will give the bow a 
quick push, though the effort be trifling, the 
arrow will fly almost as far again as it would 
have done without it. Or, if, as is well known 
in wielding a very sharp sabre, we make the 
draw cut; that is, if to the blow or chop, as 
with an axe, we also add a certain slight 
pull, simultaneously, we can cut through a 
silk handkerchief or a sheep. Forethought 
(command to the subconsciousness) is the 
tap on the bell; the push on the bow; the 
draw on the sabre. It is the deliberate but 
yet rapid action of the mind when before 
dismissing thought, we bid the mind to con- 
sequently respond. It is more than merely 
thinking what we are to do ; it is the bidding 
or ordering the Self to fulfill a task before 
willing it." 

Attention 69 

Remember first, last and always, that be- 
fore you can remember, or recollect, you must 
first perceive; and that perception is possible 
only through attention, and responds in de- 
gree to the later. Therefore, it has truly been 
said that : ' ' The great Art of Memory is At- 



In the preceding chapters we have seen 
that in order that a thing may be remembered, 
it must be impressed clearly upon the mind in 
the first place ; and that in order to obtain a 
clear impression there must be a manifesta- 
tion of attention. So much for the recording 
of the impressions. But when we come to 
recalling, recollecting or remembering the im- 
pressions we are brought face to face with an- 
other important law of memory— the law of 
Association. Association plays a part anal- 
ogous to the indexing and cross-indexing of a 
book ; a library ; or another system in which 
the aim is to readily find something that has 
been filed away, or contained in some way 
in a collection of similar things. As Kay says : 
"In order that what is in the memory may be 
recalled or brought again before conscious- 
ness, it is necessary that it be regarded in con- 
nection, or in association with one or more 


Association 71 

other things or ideas, and as a rule the greater 
the number of other things with which it is 
associated the greater the likelihood of its 
recall. The two processes are involved in 
every act of memory. We must first impress, 
and then we must associate. Without a clear 
impression being formed, that which is re- 
called will be indistinct and inaccurate; and 
unless it is associated with something else in 
the mind, it cannot be recalled. If we may 
suppose an idea existing in the mind by itself, 
unconnected with any other idea, its recall 
would be impossible.' ' 

All the best authorities recognize and teach 
the importance of this law of association, in 
connection with the memory. Abercombie 
says: "Next to the effect of attention is the 
remarkable influence produced upon memory 
by association. ' 9 Carpenter says: "The re- 
cording power of memory mainly depends 
upon the degree of attention we give to the 
idea to be remembered. The reproducing 
power again altogether depends upon the na- 
ture of the associations by which the new 
idea has been linked on to other ideas which 

72 Memoby 

have been previously recorded." Ribot says: 
"The most fundamental law which regulates 
psychological phenomena is the law of asso- 
ciation. In its comprehensive character it 
is comparable to the law of attraction in the 
physical world." Mill says: "That which 
the law of gravitation is to astronomy ; that 
which the elementary properties of the tis- 
sues are to physiology ; the law of association 
of ideas is to psychology." Stewart says: 
1 i The connection between memory and the a&- 
sociation of ideas is so striking that it has 
been supposed by some that the whole of the 
phenomena might be resolved into this prin- 
ciple. The association of ideas connects our 
various thoughts with each other, so as to 
present them to the mind in a certain order ; 
but it presupposes the existence of those 
thoughts in the mind,— in other words it pre- 
supposes a faculty of retaining the knowl- 
edge which we acquire. On the other hand, 
it is evident that without the associating prin- 
ciple, the power of retaining our thoughts, 
and of recognizing them when they occur to 
us, would have been of little use; for the 

Association 73 

most important articles of our knowledge 
might have remained latent in the mind, even 
when those occasions presented themselves to 
which they were immediately applicable." 

Association of ideas depends upon two 
principles known, respectively, as (1) the law 
of contiguity; and (2) the law of similarity. 
Association by contiguity is that form of asso- 
ciation by which an idea is linked, connected, 
or associated with ,the sensation, thought, or 
idea immediately preceding it, and that which 
directly follows it. Each idea, or thought, is 
a link in a great chain of thought being con- 
nected with the preceding link and the suc- 
ceeding link. Association by similarity is 
that form of association by which an idea, 
thought, or sensation is linked, connected, or 
associated with ideas, thoughts, or sensations 
of a similar kind, which have occurred pre- 
viously or subsequently. The first form of 
association is the relation of sequence— the 
second the relation of kind. 

Association by contiguity is the great law 
of thought, as well as of memory. As Kay 
says: "The great law of mental association 

74 Memory 

is that of contiguity, by means of which sen- 
sations and ideas that have been in the mind 
together or in close succession, tend to unite 
together, or cohere in such a way that the 
one can afterward recall the other. The con- 
nection that naturally subsists between a sen- 
sation or idea in the mind, and that which 
immediately preceded or followed it, is of the 
strongest and most intimate nature. The 
two, strictly speaking, are but one, forming 
one complete thought.' ' As Taine says: "To 
speak correctly, there is no isolated or sepa- 
rate sensation. A sensation is a state which 
begins as a continuation of preceding ones, 
and ends by losing itself in those following 
it ; it is by an arbitrary severing, and for the 
convenience of language, that we set it apart 
as we do ; its beginning is the end of another, 
and its ending the beginning of another.' ' 
As Eibot says: "When we read or hear a 
sentence, for example, at the commencement 
of the fifth word something of the fourth 
word still remains. Association by contiguity 
may be separated into two sub-classes— con- 
tiguity in time; and contiguity in space. In 

Association 75 

contiguity in time there is manifested the 
tendency of the memory to recall the im- 
pressions in the same order in which they 
were received— the first impression suggest- 
ing the second, and that the third, and so on. 
In this way the child learns to repeat the 
alphabet, and the adult the succeeding lines 
of a poem. As Priestly says: "In a poem, 
the end of each preceding word being con- 
nected with the beginning of the succeeding 
one, we can easily repeat them in that order, 
but we are not able to repeat them backwards 
till they have been frequently named in that 
order. Memory of words, or groups of words, 
depends upon this form of contigious asso- 
ciation. Some persons are able to repeat long 
poems from beginning to end, with perfect 
ease, but are unable to repeat any particular 
sentence, or verse, without working down to 
it from the beginning. Contiguity in space is 
manifested in forms of recollection or remem- 
brance by " position.' ' Thus by remember- 
ing the things connected with the position of 
a particular thing, we are enabled to recall 
the thing itself. As we have seen in a pre- 

76 Memory 

ceding chapter, some forms of memory sys- 
tems have been based on this law. If you will 
recall some house or room in which 
you have been, you will find that you will 
remember one object after another, in the 
order of the relative positions, or contiguity 
in space, or position. Beginning with the 
front hall, you may travel in memory from 
one room to another, recalling each with the 
objects it contains, according to the degree of 
attention you bestowed upon them originally. 
Kay says of association by contiguity: "It 
is on this principle of contiguity that mne- 
monical systems are constructed, as when 
what we wish to remember is associated in 
the mind with a certain object or locality, the 
ideas associated will at once come up; or 
when each word or idea is associated with the 
one immediately preceding it, so that when 
the one is recalled the other comes up along 
with it, and thus long lists of names or long 
passages of books can be readily learnt by 
heart.' ' 

From the foregoing, it will be seen that it 
is of great importance that we correlate our 

Association 77 

impressions with those preceding and follow- 
ing. The more closely knitted together our 
impressions are, the more closely will they 
cohere, and the greater will be the facility of 
remembering or recollecting them. We 
should endeavor to form our impressions of 
things so that they will be associated with 
other impressions, in time and space. Every 
other thing that is associated in the mind with 
a given thing, serves as a "loose end" of 
memory, which if once grasped and followed 
up will lead us to the thing we desire to re- 
call to mind. 

Association by similarity is the linking to- 
gether of impressions of a similar kind, ir- 
respectve of time and place. Carpenter ex- 
presses it as follows : i i The law of similarity 
expresses the general fact that any present 
state of consciousness tends to revive pre- 
vious states which are similar to it. . . . 
Rational or philosophical association is when 
a fact or statement on which the attention is 
fixed is associated with some fact previously 
known, to which it has a relation, or with 
some subject which it is calculated to illus- 



trate." And as Kay says: "The similars 
may be widely apart in space or in time, but 
they are brought together aiid associated 
through their resemblance to each other. 
Thus, a circumstance of to-day may recall 
circumstances of a similar nature that oc- 
curred perhaps at very different times, and 
they will become associated together in the 
mind, so that afterwards the presence of one 
will tend to recall the others." Abercrombie 
says of this phase of association: "The habit 
of correct association— that is, connecting 
facts in the mind according to their true re- 
lations, and to the manner in which they tend 
to illustrate each other, is one of the principle 
means of improving the memory, particularly 
that kind of memory which is an essential 
quality of a cultivated mind— namely, that 
which is founded not upon incidental connec- 
tions, but on true and important relations." 
As Beattie says: "The more relations or 
likenesses that we find or can establish be- 
tween objects, the more easily will the view 
of one lead us to recollect the rest." And as 
Kay says: "In order to fix a thing in the 

Association 79 

memory, we must associate it with something 
in the mind already, and the more closely 
that which we wish to remember resembles 
that with which it is associated, the better is 
it fixed in the memory, and the more readily 
is it recalled. If the two strongly resemble 
each other, or are not to be distinguished 
from each other, then the association is of the 
strongest kind. . . . The memory is able 
to retain and replace a vastly greater number 
of ideas, if they are associated or arranged on 
some principle of similarity, than if they are 
presented merely as isolated facts. It is not 
by the multitude of ideas, but the want of ar- 
rangement among them, that the memory is 
burdened and its powers weakened.' ' As 
Arnott says: "The ignorant man may be 
said to have charged his hundred hooks of 
knowledge (to use a rude simile), with single 
objects, while the informed man makes each 
hook support a long chain to which thousands 
of kindred and useful things are attached.' ' 
We ask each student of this book to ac- 
quaint himself with the general idea of the 
working features of the law of association as 

80 Memory 

given in this chapter for the reason that 
much of the instruction to be given under the 
head of the several phases and classes of 
memory is based upon an application of the 
Law of Association, in connection with the law 
of Attention. These fundamental principles 
should be clearly grasped before one proceeds 
to the details of practice and exercise. One 
should know not only "how" to use the mind 
and memory in certain ways, but also "why" 
it is to be used in that particular way. By 
understanding the "reason of it," one is bet- 
ter able to follow out the directions. 



One of the first things apt to be noticed 
by the student of memory is the fact that 
there are several different phases of the man- 
ifestation of memory. That is to say, that 
there are several general classes into which 
the phenomena of memory may be grouped. 
And accordingly we find some persons quite 
highly developed in certain phases of mem- 
ory, and quite deficient in others. If there 
were but one phase or class of memory, then 
a person who had developed his memory 
along any particular line would have at the 
same time developed it equally along all the 
other lines. But this is far from being the 
true state of affairs. We find men who are 
quite proficient in recalling the impression 
of faces, while they find it very difficult to re- 
call the names of the persons whose faces 
they remember. Others can remember faces, 
and not names. Others have an excellent 


82 Memory 

recollection of localities, while others are con- 
stantly losing themselves. Others remember 
dates, prices, numbers, and figures generally, 
while deficient in other forms of recollection. 
Others remember tales, incidents, anecdotes 
etc., while forgetting other things. And so 
on, each person being apt to possess a mem- 
ory good in some phases, while deficient in 

The phases of memory may be divided into 
itwo general classes, namely (1) Memory of 
Sense Impressions; and (2) Memory of Ideas. 
This classification is somewhat arbitrary, for 
the reason that sense impressions develop 
into ideas, and ideas are composed to a con- 
siderable extent of sense impressions, but in 
a general way the classification serves its 
purpose, which is the grouping together of 
certain phases of the phenomena of memory. 

Memory of Sense Impressons of course in- 
cludes the impressions received from all of 
the five senses: sight; hearing; taste; touch; 
and smell. But when we come down to a prac- 
tical examination of sense impressions re« 
tained in the memory, we find that the ma- 

Phases of Memory 83 

jority of such impressions are those obtained 
through the two respective senses of sight 
and hearing. The impressions received from 
the sense of taste, touch and smell, respec- 
tively, are comparatively small, except in 
the cases of certain experts in special lines, 
whose occupation consists in acquiring a very 
delicate sense of taste, smell or touch, and 
correspondingly a fine sense of memory along 
these particular lines. For instance, the 
wine-taster and tea-tasters, who are able to 
distinguish between the various grades of 
merchandise handled by them, have developed 
not only very fine senses of taste and smell, 
but also a remarkable memory of the impres- 
sions previously received, the power of dis- 
crimination depending as much upon the 
memory as upon the special sense. In the 
same way the skilled surgeon as well as the 
skilled mechanic acquires a fine sense of touch 
and a correspondingly highly developed mem- 
ory of touch impressions. 

But, as we have said, the greater part of 
the sense impressions stored away in our 
memories are those previously received 

84 Memory 

through the senses of sight and hearing, re- 
spectively. The majority of sense impres- 
sions, stored away in the memory, have been 
received more or less involuntarily, that is 
with the application of but a slight degree of 
attention. They are more or less indistinct 
and hazy, and are recalled with difficulty, the 
remembrance of them generally coming about 
without conscious effort, according to the law 
of association. That is, they come princi- 
pally when we are thinking about something 
else upon which we have given thought and 
attention, and with which they have been as- 
sociated. There is quite a difference be- 
tween the remembrance of sense impressions 
received in this way, and those which we 
record by the bestowal of attention, interest 
and concentration. 

The sense impressions of sight are by far 
the most numerous in our subconscious store- 
house. We are constantly exercising our 
sense of sight, and receiving thousands of 
different sight impressions every hour. But 
the majority of these impressions are but 
faintly recorded upon the memory, because 

Phases of Memory 85 

we give to them but little attention or interest. 
But it is astonishing, at times, when we find 
that when we recall some important event or 
incident we also recall many faint sight im- 
pressions of which we did not dream we had 
any record. To realize the important part 
played by sight impressions in the phenomena 
of memory, recall some particular time or 
event in your life, and see how many more 
things that you saw are remembered, com- 
pared with the number of things that yon 
heard, or tasted, or felt or smelled. 

Second in number* however, are the im- 
pressions received through the sense of heap- 
ing, and consequently the memory stores 
away a great number of sound impressions. 
In some cases the impressions of sight and 
sound are joined together, as for instance in 
the case of words, in which not only the sound 
but the shape of the letters composing the 
word, or rather the word-shape itself, are 
stored away together, and consequently are 
far more readily remembered or recollected 
than things of which but one sense impres- 
sion is recorded. Teachers of memory use 

86 Memoky 

this fact as a means of helping their students 
to memorize words by speaking them aloud, 
and then writing them down. Many persons 
memorize names in this way, the impression 
of the written word being added to the im- 
pression of the sound, thus doubling the 
record. The more impressions that you can 
\ make regarding a thing, the greater are the 
chances of your easily recollecting it. Like- 
wise it is very important to attach an impres- 
sion of a weaker sense, to that of a stronger 
one, in order that the former may be memor- 
ized. For instance, if you have a good eye 
memory, and a poor ear memory, it is well to 
attach your sound impressions to the sight 
impressions. !And if you have a poor eye 
memory, and a good ear memory it is impor- 
tant to attach your sight impressions to your 
sound impressions. In this way you take ad- 
vantage of the law of association, of which 
we have told you. 

Under the sub-class of sight impressions, 
are found the smaller divisions of memory 
known as memory of locality ; memory of fig- 
ures ; memory of form ; memory of color; and 

Phases of Memory 87 

memory of written or printed words. Under 
the sub-class of sound impressions are found 
the smaller divisions of memory known as 
memory of spoken words ; memory of names ; 
memory of stories; memory of music, etc. 
We shall pay special attention to these forms 
of memory, in succeeding chapters. 

The second general class of memory,— 
memory of ideas,— includes the memory of 
facts, events, thoughts, lines of reasoning, 
etc., and is regarded as higher in the scale 
than the memory of sense impressions, al- 
though not more necessary nor useful to the 
average person. This form of memory of 
course accompanies the higher lines of intel- 
lectual effort and activities, and constitutes 
a large part of what is known as true educa- 
tion, that is education which teaches one to 
think instead of to merely memorize certain 
things taught in books or lectures. 

The well-rounded man, mentally, is he who 
has developed his memory on all sides, rather 
than the one who has developed but one spe- 
cial phase of the faculty. It is true that a 
man's interest and occupation certainly tend 

88 Memoey 

to develop his memory according to his daily 
needs and requirements, but it is well that 
he should give to the other parts of his mem- 
ory field some exercise, in order that he may 
not grow one-sided. As Halleck has said: 
"Many persons think that memory is mainly 
due to sight; but we have as many different 
kinds of memory as we have) senses. To 
sight, the watermelon is a long greenish body, 
but this is its least important quality. Sight 
alone gives the poorest idea of the water- 
melon. We approach the vine where the fruit 
is growing, and in order to decide whether it 
is ripe, we tap the rind and judge by the 
sound. We must remember that a ripe water- 
melon has a certain resonance. By passing 
our hands over the melon, we learn that it 
has certain touch characteristics. We cut it 
open and learn the qualities of taste and 
smell. All this knowledge afforded by the dif- 
ferent senses must enter into a perfected 
memory image. Hence we see that many 
complex processes go to form an idea of a 
thing. Napoleon was not content with only 
hearing a name. He wrote it down, and hav- 

Phases of Memory 89 

ing satisfied his eye memory as well as his 
ear memory, he threw the paper away." 

In this book we shall point out the methods 
and processes calculated to round out the 
memory of the student. As a rule his strong 
phases of memory need but little attention, 
although even in these a little scientific know- 
ledge will be of use. But in the weaker phases, 
those phases in which his memory is "poor," 
he should exert a new energy and activity, to 
the end that these weaker regions of the mem- 
ory may be cultivated and fertilized, and well 
stored with the seed impressions, which will 
bear a good crop in time. There is no phase, 
field, or class of memory that is not capable 
of being highly developed by intelligent appli- 
cation. It requires practice, exercise and 
work— but the reward is great. Many a man 
is handicapped by being deficient in certain 
phases of memory, while proficient in others. 
The remedy is in his own hands, and we feel 
that in this book we have given to each the 
means whereby he may acquire a "good" 
memory along any or all lines. 



Before the memory can be stored with sight 
impressions— before the mind can recollect 
or remember such impressions— the eye must 
be used under the direction of the attention. 
We think that we see things when we look at 
them, but in reality we see but few things, in 
the sense of registering clear and distinct im- 
pressions of them upon the tablets of the sub- 
conscious mind. We look at them rather than 
see them. 

Halleck says regarding this ' l sight without 
seeing' ' idea: " A body may be imaged on the 
retina without insuring perception. There 
must be an effort to concentrate the attention 
upon the many things which the world pre- 
sents to our senses. A man once said to the 
pupils of a large school, all of whom had 
seen cows : 'I should like to find out how many 
of vou know whether a cow's ears are above, 
below, behind, or in front of her horns. I 


Training the Eye 91 

want only those pupils to raise their hands 
who are sure about the position and who will 
promise to give a dollar to charity if they an- 
swer wrong. ' Only two hands were raised. 
Their owners had drawn cows and in order 
to do that had been forced to concentrate their 
attention upon the anim&ls. Fifteen pupils 
were sure that they had seen cats climb trees 
and descend them. There was unanimity of 
opinion that the cats went up heads first. 
When asked whether the cats came down 
head or tail first, the majority were sure that 
the cats descended as they were never known 
to do. Any one who had ever noticed the 
shape of the claws of any beast of prey could 
have answered the question without seeing 
an actual descent. Farmers ' boys who have 
often seen cows and horses lie down and rise, 
are seldom sure whether the animals rise 
with their fore or hind feet first, or whether 
the habit of the horse agrees with that of the 
cow in this respect. The elm tree has about 
its leaf a peculiarity which all ought to notice 
the first time they see it, and yet only about 
five per cent of a certain school could incor- 
porate in a drawing this peculiarity, although 

92 Memoby 

it is so easily outlined on paper. Perception, 
to achieve satisfactory results, must summon 
the will to its aid to concentrate the attention. 
Only the smallest part of what falls upon our 
senses at any time is actually perceived/ ' 

The way to train the mind to receive clear 
sight-impressions, and therefore to retain 
them in the memory is simply to concentrate 
the will and attention upon objects of sight, 
endeavoring to see them plainly and distinct- 
ly, and then to practice recalling the details 
of the object some time afterward. It is aston- 
ishing how rapidly one may improve in 
this respect by a little practice. And it is 
amazing how great a degree of proficiency 
in this practice one may attain in a short 
time. You have doubtless heard the old story 
of Houdin, the French conjurer, who culti- 
vated his memory of sight impressions by fol- 
lowing a simple plan. He started in to prac- 
tice by observing the number of small objects 
in the Paris shop windows he could see and 
remember in one quick glance as he rapidly 
walked past the window. He followed the 
plan of noting down on paper the things, that 
lie saw and remembered. At first he could 

Training the Eye 93 

remember but two or three articles in the 
window. Then he began to see and remember 
more, and so on, each day adding to his power 
of perception and memory, until finally he 
was able to see and remember nearly every 
small article in a large shop window, after be- 
stowing but one glance upon it. Others have 
found this plan an excellent one, and have de- 
veloped their power of perception greatly, 
and at the same time cultivated an amazingly 
retentive memory of objects thus seen. It is 
all a matter of use and practice. The experi- 
ment of Houdin may be varied infinitely, with 
excellent results. 

The Hindus train their children along these 
lines, by playing the " sight game" with 
them. This game is played by exposing to 
the sight of the children a number of small 
objects, at which they gaze intently, and which 
are then withdrawn from their sight. The 
children then endeavor to excel each other in 
writing down the names of the objects which 
they have seen. The number of objects is 
small to begin with, but is increased each day, 
until an astonishing number are perceived 
and remembered. 

94 Memoby 

Budyard Kipling in his great book, ' ' Kim, ' * 
gives an instance of this game, played by 
"Kim" and a trained native youth. Lurgan 
Sahib exposes to the sight of the two boys a 
tray filled with jewels and gems, allowing 
them to gaze upon it a few moments before it 
is withdrawn from sight. Then the competi- 
tion begins, as follows: " c There are under 
that paper five blue stones, one big, one 
smaller, and three small,' said Kim in all 
haste. There are four green stones, and one 
with, a hole in it; there is one yellow stone 
that I can see through, and one like a pipe 
stem. There are two red stones, and— and— 
give me time.' " But Kim had reached the 
limit of his powers. Then came the turn of 
the native boy. " 'Hear my count/ cried the 
native child. l First are two flawed sapphires, 
one of two ruttes and one of four, as I should 
judge. The four rutte sapphire is chipped at 
the edge. There is one Turkestan turquoise, 
plain with green veins, and there are two in- 
scribed—one with the name of God in gilt, 
and the other being cracked across, for it 
came out of an old ring, I cannot read. We 
have now the five blue stones; four flamed 

Training the Eye 95 

emeralds there are, but one is drilled in two 
places, and one is a little carven.' ' Their 
weight V said Lurgan Sahib, impassively. 
* Three— five— five and four ruttees, as I judge 
it. There is one piece of old greenish amber, 
and a cheap cut topaz from Europe, There 
is one ruby of Burma, one of two ruttees, 
without a flaw. And there is a ballas ruby, 
flawed, of two ruttees. There is a carved 
ivory from China, representing a rat sucking 
an egg -j and there is last— Ah— ha!— a ball 
of crystal as big as a bean set in gold leaf/ " 
Kim is mortified at his bad beating, and asks 
the secret. The answer is : " By doing it many 
times over, till it is done perfectly, for it is 
worth doing.' ' 

Many teachers have followed plans similar 
to that just related. A number of small arti- 
cles are exposed, and the pupils are trained 
to see and remember them, the process being 
gradually made more and more difficult. A 
well known American teacher was in the 
habit of rapidly making a number of dots on 
the blackboard, and then erasing them before 
the pupils could count them in the ordinary 
way. The children then endeavored to count 

96 Memory 

their mental impressions, and before long 
they could correctly name the number up to 
ten or more, with ease. They said they could 
"see six," or "see ten," as the case may be, 
automatically and apparently without the 
labor of consciously counting them. It is re- 
lated in works dealing with the detection of 
crime, that in the celebrated "thieves 
schools" in Europe, the young thieves are 
trained in a similar way, the old scoundrels 
acting as teachers exposing a number of small 
articles to the young ones, and requiring them 
to repeat exactly what they had seen. Then 
follows a higher course in which the young 
thieves are required to memorize the objects 
in a room ; the plan of houses, etc. They are 
sent forth to "spy out the land" for future 
robberies, in the guise of beggars soliciting 
alms, and thus getting a rapid peep into 
houses, offices, and stores. It is said that in 
a single glance they will perceive the location 
of all of the doors, windows, locks, bolts, etc. 
Many nations have boys' games in which 
the youngsters are required to see and re- 
member after taking a peep. The Italians 
have a game called 1 1 Morro ' ' in which one boy 

Training the Eye 97 

throws out a number of fingers, which must 
be instantly named by the other boy, a fail- 
ure resulting in a forfeit. The Chinese 
youths have a similar game, while the Japan- 
ese boys reduce this to a science. A well 
trained Japanese youth will be able to re- 
member the entire contents of a room after 
one keen glance around it. Many of the Ori- 
entals have developed this faculty to a degree 
almost beyond belief. But the principle is 
the same in all cases— the gradual practice 
and exercise, beginning with a small number 
of simple things, and then increasing the 
number and complexity of the objects. 

The faculty is not so rare as one might 
imagine at first thought. Take a man in a 
small business, and let him enter the store of 
a competitor, and see how many things lie 
will observe and remember after a few min- 
utes in the place. Let an actor visit a play in 
another theatre, and see how many details of 
the performance he will notice and remember. 
T^et some women pay a visit to a new neigh- 
bor, and then see how many things about that 
house they will have seen and remembered* 
to be retailed to their confidential friends af- 

98 Memory 

terward. It is the old story of attention 
following the interest, and memory following 
the attention. An expert whist player will 
see and remember every card played in the 
game, and just who played it. A chess or 
checker player will see and remember the 
previous moves in the game, if he be expert, 
and can relate them afterward. A woman 
will go shopping and will see and remember 
thousands of things that a man would never 
have seen, much less remembered. As Hou- 
din said: "Thus, for instance, I can safely 
assert that a lady seeing another pass at full 
speed in a carriage will have had time to ana- 
lyze her toilette from her bonnet to her shoes, 
and be able to describe not only the fashion 
and quality of the stuffs, but also say if the 
lace be real or only machine made. I have 
known ladies to do this." 

But, remember this— for it is important: 
"Whatever can be done in this direction by 
means of attention, inspired by interest, may 
be duplicated by attention directed by will. 
In other words, the desire to accomplish the 
task adds and creates an artificial interest 
just as effective as the natural feeling. And, 

Training the Eye 99 

as you progress, the interest in the game- 
task will add new interest, and you will be 
able to duplicate any of the feats mentioned 
above. It is all a matter of attention, interest 
(natural or induced) and practice. Begin 
with a set of dominoes, if you like, and try to 
remember the spots on one of them rapidly 
glanced at— then two— then three. By in- 
creasing the number gradually, you will at- 
tain a power of perception and a memory of 
sight-impressions that will appear almost 
marvelous. And not only will you begin to 
remember dominoes, but you will also be 
able to perceive and remember thousands of 
little details of interest, in everything, that 
have heretofore escaped your notice. The 
principle is very simple, but the results that 
may be obtained by practice are wonderful. 

The trouble with most of you is that you 
have been looking without seeing— gazing but 
not observing. The objects around you have 
been out of your mental focus. If you will 
but change your mental focus, by means of 
will and attention, you will be able to cure 
yourself of the careless methods of seeing 
and observing that have been hindrances to 

100 Memoby 

your success. You have been blaming it on 
your memory, but the fault is with your per- 
ception. How can the memory remember, 
when it is not given anything in the way of 
clear impressions ? You have been like young 
infants in this matter— now it is time for you 
to begin to ' ' sit up and take notice, 9 f no matter 
how old you may be. The whole thing in a 
nut-shell is this: In order to remember the 
things that pass before your sight, you must 
begin to see with* your mind, instead of with 
your retina. Let the impression get beyond 
your retina and into your mind. If you will 
do this, you will find that memory will "do 
the rest." 



The sense of hearing is one of the highest 
of the senses or channels whereby we receive 
impressions from the outside world. In fact, 
it ranks almost as high as the sense of sight. 
In the senses of taste, touch, and smell there 
is a direct contact between the sensitive re- 
cipient nerve substance and the particles of 
the object sensed, while in the sense of sight 
and the sense of hearing the impression is re- 
ceived through the medium of waves in the 
ether (in the case of sight), or waves in the 
air (in the sense of hearing.) Moreover in 
taste, smell and touch the objects sensed are 
brought into direct contact with the terminal 
nerve apparatus, while in seeing and hearing 
the nerves terminate in peculiar and delicate 
sacs which contain a fluidic substance through 
which the impression is conveyed to the nerve 
proper. Loss of this fluidic substance de- 
stroys the faculty to receive impressions, and 


102 Memory 

deafness or blindness ensues. As Fostel 
says: " Waves of sound falling upon the au- 
ditory nerve itself produces no effect what- 
ever; it is only when, by the medium of the 
endolymph, they are brought to bear on the 
delicate and peculiar epithelium cells which 
constitute the peripheral terminations of the 
nerve, that sensations of sound arise." 

Just as it is true that it is the mind and not 
the eye that really sees; so is it true that it is 
the mind and not the ear that really hears. 
Many sounds reach the ear that are not regis- 
tered by the mind. We pass along a crowded 
street, the waves of many sounds reaching the 
nerves of the ear, and yet the mind accepts 
the sounds of but few things, particularly 
when the novelty of the sounds has passed 
away. It is a matter of interest and atten- 
tion in this case, as well as in the case of hear- 
ing. As Halleck says : "If we sit by an open 
window in the country on a summer day, we 
may have many stimuli knocking at the gate 
of attention : the ticking of a clock, the sound 
of the wind, the cackling of fowl, the quacking 
of ducks, the barking of dogs, the lowing of 
cows, the cries of children at play, the rust- 

Training the Ear 103 

ling of leaves, the songs of birds, the rumbling 
of wagons, etc. If attention is centered upon 
any one of these, that for the time being ac- 
quires the importance of a king upon the 
throne of our mental world." 

Many persons complain of not being able 
to remember sounds, or things reaching the 
mind through the sense of hearing, and attrib- 
ute the trouble to some defect in the organs 
of hearing. But in so doing they overlook the 
real cause of the trouble, for it is a scientific 
fact that many of such persons are found to 
have hearing apparatus perfectly developed 
and in the best working order— their trouble 
arising from a lack of training of the mental 
faculty of hearing. In other words the 
trouble is in their mind instead of in the or- 
gans of hearing. To acquire the faculty of 
correct hearing, and correct memory of things 
heard, the mental faculty of hearing must be 
exercised, trained and developed. Given a 
number of people whose hearing apparatus 
are equally perfect, we will find that some 
"hear" much better than others; and some 
hear certain things better than they do cer- 
tain other things; and that there is a great 

104 Memory 

difference in the grades and degrees of mem- 
ory of the things heard. As Kay says: 
" Great differences exist among individuals 
with regard to the acuteness of this sense 
(hearing) and some possess it in greater per- 
fection in certain directions than in others. 
One whose hearing is good for sound in gen- 
eral may yet have but little ear for musical 
tones; and, on the other hand, one with a good 
ear for music may yet be deficient as regards 
hearing in general." The secret of this is to 
be found in the degree of interest and atten- 
tion bestowed upon the particular thing 
giving forth the sound. 

It is a fact that the mind will hear the faint- 
est sounds from things in which is centered 
interest and attention, while at the same time 
ignoring things in which there is no interest 
and to which the attention is not turned. A 
sleeping mother will awaken at the slightest 
whimper from her babe, while the rumbling 
of a heavy wagon on the street, or even the 
discharge of a gun in the neighborhood may 
not be noticed by her. An engineer will de- 
tect the slightest difference in the whir or 
hum of his engine, while failing to notice a 

Training the Ear 105 

very loud noise outside. A musician will note 
the slightest discord occurring in a concert 
in which there are a great number of instru- 
ments being played, and in which there is a 
great volume of sound reaching the ear, 
while other sounds may be unheard by him. 
The man who taps the wheels of your rail- 
road car is able to detect the slightest dif- 
erence in tone, and is thus informed that there 
is a crack or flaw in the wheel. One who 
handles large quantities of coin will have his 
attention drawn to the slightest difference in 
the "ring" of a piece of gold or silver, that 
informs him that there is something wrong 
with the coin. A train engineer will distin- 
guish the strange whir of something wrong 
with the train behind him, amidst all the 
thundering! rattle and roar in which it is 
merged. The foreman in a machine shop in 
the same manner detects the little strange 
noise that informs him that something as 
amiss, and he rings off the power at once. 
Telegraphers are able to detect the almost im- 
perceptible differences in the sound of their 
instruments that inform them that a new op- 
erator is on the wire ; or just who is sending 

106 Memory 

the message ; and, in some cases, the mood or 
temper of the person transmitting it. Train- 
men and steamboat men recognize the differ- 
ences between every engine or boat on their 
line, or river, as the case may be. A skilled 
physician will detect the faint sounds denot- 
ing a respiratory trouble or a " heart mur- 
mur" in the patients. And yet these very 
people who are able to detect the faint differ- 
ences in sound, above mentioned, are often 
known as "poor hearer s" in other things. 
Why? Simply because they hear only that in 
which they are interested, and to which their 
attention has been directed. That is the 
whole secret, and in it is also to be found the 
secret of training of the ear-perception. It 
is all a matter of interest and attention— the 
details depend upon these principles. 

In view of the facts just stated, it will be 
seen that the remedy for "poor hearing," -and 
poor memory of things heard is to be found in 
the use of the will in the direction of volun- 
tary attention and interest. So true is this 
that some authorities go so far as to claim 
that many cases of supposed slight deafness 
are really but the result of lack of attention 

Training the Ear 107 

and concentration on the part of the person 
so troubled. Kay says: "What is commonly 
called deafness is not infrequently to be at- 
tributed to this cause— the sounds being heard 
but not being interpreted or* recognized. 
. . . sounds may be distinctly heard when 
the attention is directed toward them, that in 
ordinary circumstances would be impercep- 
tible; and people often fail to hear what is 
said to them because they are not paying at- 
tention/ ' Harvey says : "That one-half of the 
deafness that exists is the result of inatten- 
tion cannot be doubted." There are but few 
persons who have not had the experience of 
listening to some bore, whose words were dis- 
tinctly heard but the meaning of which was 
entirely lost because of inattention and lack of 
interest. Kirkes sums the matter up in these 
words: "In hearing we must distinguish two 
different points— the audible sensation as it is 
developed without any intellectual interfer- 
ence, and the conception which we form in 
consequence of that sensation." 

The reason that many persons do not re- 
member things that they have heard is simply 
because they have not listened properly. Poor 

108 - Memoky 

listening is far more common than one would 
suppose at first. A little self-examination 
will reveal to you the fact that you have fallen 
into the bad habit of inattention. One cannot 
listen to everything, of course— it would not 
be advisable. But one should acquire the 
habit of either really listening or else refus- 
ing to listen at all. The compromise of care- 
less listening brings about deplorable results, 
and is really the reason why so many people 
" can't remember' ' what they have heard. It 
is all a matter of habit. Persons who have 
poor memories of ear-impressions should be- 
gin to " listen' ' in earnest. In order to re- 
acquire their lost habit of proper listening, 
they must exercise voluntary attention and 
develop interest. The following suggestions 
may be useful in that direction. 

Try to memorize words that are spoken to 
you in conversation— a few sentences, or even 
one, at a time. You will find that the effort 
made to fasten the sentence on your memory 
will result in a concentration of the attention 
on the words of the speaker. Do the same 
thing when you are listening to a preacher, 
actor or lecturer. Pick out the first sentence 

Training the Ear 109 

for memorizing, and make up your mind that 
your memory will be as wax to receive the im- 
pression and as steel to retain it. Listen to 
the stray scraps of conversation that come 
to your ears while walking on the street, and 
endeavor to memorize a sentence or two, as 
if you were to repeat it later in the day. 
Study the various tones, expressions and in- 
flections in the voices of persons speaking to 
you— you will find this most interesting and 
helpful. You will be surprised at the details 
that such analysis will reveal. Listen to the 
footsteps of different persons and endeavor 
to distinguish between them— each has its 
peculiarities. Get some one to read a line or 
two of poetry or prose to you, and then en- 
deavor to remember it. A little practice of 
this kind will greatly develop the power of 
voluntary attention to> sounds and spoken 
words. But above everything else, practice 
repeating the words and sounds that you have 
memorized, so far as is possible— for by so 
doing you will get the mind into the habit of 
taking an interest in sound impressions. In 
this way you not only improve the sense of 
hearing, but also the faculty of remembering. 

110 Memory 

If you will analyze, and boil down the above 
remarks and directions, yon will find that the 
gist of the whole matter is that one should 
actually use, employ and exercise the mental 
faculty of hearing, actively and intelligently. 
Nature has a way of putting to sleep, or 
atrophying any faculty that is not used or 
exercised; and also of encouraging, develop- 
ing and strengthening any faculty that is 
properly employed and exercised. In this 
you have the secret. Use it. If you will listen 
well, you will hear well and remember well 
that which you have heard. 



The phase of memory connected with the 
remembrance or recollection of names prob- 
ably is of greater interest to the majority of 
persons than are any of the associated phases 
of the subject. On all hands are to be found 
people who are embarassed by their failure 
to recall the name of some one whom they feel 
they know, but whose name has escaped them. 
This failure to remember the names of per- 
sons undoubtedly interferes with the business 
and professional success of many persons; 
and, on the other hand, the ability to recall 
names readily has aided many persons in the 
struggle for success. It would seem that there 
are a greater number of persons deficient in 
this phase of memory than in any other. As 
Holbrook has said: "The memory of names is 
a subject with which most persons must have 
a more than passing interest. . . .The 
number of persons who never or rarely forget 


112 Memoky 

a name is exceedingly small, the number of 
those who have a poor memory for them is 
very large. The reason for this is partly a de- 
fect of mental development and partly a mat- 
ter of habit. In either case it may be over- 
come by effort. . • .1 have satisfied myself 
by experience and observation that a memory 
for names may be increased not only two, but 
a hundredfold." 

Yon will find that the majority of successful 
men have been able to recall the faces and 
names of those with whom they came in con- 
tact, and it is an interesting subject for spec- 
ulation as to just how much of their success 
was due to this faculty. Socrates is said to 
have easily remembered the names of all of 
his students, and his classes numbered thou- 
sands in the course of a year. Xenophon is 
said to have known the name of every one of 
his soldiers, which faculty was shared by 
Washington and Napoleon, also. Trajan is 
said to have known the names of all the Prae- 
torian Guards, numbering about 12,000. Peri- 
cles knew the face and name of every one 
of the citizens of Athens. Cineas is said to 
have known the names of all the citizens of 

To Remember Names 113 

Rome. Themistocles knew the names of 20,- 
000 Athenians. Lucius Scipio could call by 
name every citizen of Rome. John Wesley 
could recall the names of thousands of per- 
sons whom he had met in his travels. Henry 
Clay was specially developed in this phase of 
memory, and there was a tradition among his 
followers that he remembered every one 
whom he met. Blaine had a similar reputa- 

There have been many theories advanced, 
and explanations offered to account for the 
fact that the recollection of names is far more 
difficult than any other form of the activities 
of the memory. We shall not take up your 
time in going over these theories, but shall 
proceed upon the theory now generally ac- 
cepted by the best authorities; i. e. that the 
difficulty in the recollection of names is caused 
by the fact that names in themselves are un- 
interesting and therefore do not attract or 
hold the attention as do other objects pre- 
sented to the mind. There is of course to be 
remembered the fact that sound impressions 
are apt to be more difficult of recollection than 
sight impressions, but the lack of interesting 

114 Memory 

qualities in names is believed to be the princi- 
pal obstacle and difficulty. Fuller says of this 
matter: "A proper noun, or name, when con- 
sidered independently of accidental features 
of coincidence with something that is fami- 
liar, doesn't mean anything; for this reason 
a mental picture of it is not easily formed, 
which accounts for the fact that the primitive, 
tedious way of rote, or repetition, is that 
ordinarily employed to impress a proper 
noun on the memory, while a common noun, 
being represented by some object having 
shape, or appearance, in the physical or men- 
tal perception, can thus be seen or imagined: 
in other words a mental image of it can be 
formed and the name identified afterwards, 
through associating it with this mental im- 
age." We think that the case is fully stated 
in this quotation. 

But in spite of this difficulty, persons have 
and can greatly improve their memory of 
names. Many who were originally very defi- 
cient in this respect have not only improved 
the faculty far beyond its former condition, 
but have also developed exceptional ability 
in this special phase of memory so that they 

To Remember Names 115 

became noted for their unfailing recollection 
of the names of those with whom they came in 

Perhaps the best way to impress upon you 
the various methods that may be used for this 
purpose would be to relate to you the actual 
experience of a gentleman employed in a 
bank in one of the large cities of this country, 
who made a close study of the subject and 
developed himself far beyond the ordinary. 
Starting with a remarkably poor memory for 
names, he is now known to his associates as 
"the man who never forgets a name." This 
gentleman first took a number of " courses' ' 
in secret "methods" of developing the mem- 
ory; but after thus spending much money he 
expressed his disgust with the whole idea of 
artificial memory training. He then started 
in to study the subject from the point-of-view 
of The New Psychology, putting into effect 
all of the tested principles, and improving 
upon some of their details. We have had a 
number of conversations with this gentleman, 
and have found that his experience confirms 
many of our own ideas and theories, and the 
fact that he has demonstrated the correctness 

116 Memory 

of the principles to such a remarkable degree 
renders his case one worthy of being stated in 
the direction of affording a guide and 
"method' ' for others who wish to develop 
their memory of names. 

The gentleman, whom we shall call "Mr. 
X., ' ' decided that the first thing for him to do 
was to develop his faculty of receiving clear 
and distinct sound impressions. In doing this 
he followed the plan outlined by us in our 
chapter on "Training the Ear." He perse- 
vered and practiced along these lines until 
his "hearing" became very acute. He made 
a study of voices, until he could classify them 
and analyze their characteristics. Then he 
found that he could %ear names in a manner 
before impossible to him. That is, instead of 
merely catching a vague sound of a name, 
he would hear it so clearly and distinctly that 
a firm registration would be obtained on the 
records of his memory. For the first time in 
his life names began to mean something to 
him. He paid attention to every name he 
heard, just as he did to every note he handled. 
He would repeat a name to himself, after 
hearing it, and would thus strengthen the im- 

To Remember Names 117 

pression. If he came across an unusual 
name, he would write it down several times, 
at the first opportunity, thus obtaining the 
benefit of a double sense impression, adding 
eye impression to ear impression. All this, 
of course, aroused his interest in the subject 
of names in general, which led him to the next 
step in his progress. 

Mr. X. then began to study names, their 
origin, their peculiarities, their differences, 
points of resemblances, etc. He made a hobby 
of names, and evinced all the joy of a collector 
when he was able to stick the pin of attention 
through the specimen of a new and unfamil- 
iar species of name. He began to collect 
names, just as others collect beetles, stamps, 
coins, etc., and took quite a pride in his col- 
lection and in his knowledge of the subject. 
He read books on names, from the libraries, 
giving their origin, etc. He had the Dickens' 
delight in "queer" names, and would amuse 
his friends by relating the funny names he 
had seen on signs, and otherwise. He took a 
small City Directory home with him, and 
would run over the pages in the evening, 
looking up new names, and classifying old 

118 Memoey 

ones into groups. He found that some names 
were derived from animals, and put these into 
a class by themselves— the Lyons, Wolfs, 
Foxes, Lambs, Hares, etc. Others were put 
into the color group— Blacks, Greens, Whites, 
Greys, Blues, etc. Others belonged to th$ 
bird family— Crows, Hawks, Birds, Drakes, 
Cranes, Doves, Jays, etc. Others belonged 
to trades— Millers, Smiths, Coopers, Malt- 
sters, Carpenters, Bakers, Painters, etc. Oth- 
ers were trees— Chestnuts, Oakleys, Walnuts, 
Cherrys*, Pines, etc. Then there were Hills 
and Dales ; Fields and Mountains ; Lanes and 
Brooks. Some were Strong; others were 
Gay j others were Savage; others Noble. And 
so on. It would take a whole book to tell you 
what that man found out about names. He 
came near becoming a " crank" on the sub- 
ject. But his hobby began to manifest ex- 
cellent results, for his interest had been awak- 
ened to an unusual degree, and he was becom- 
ing very proficient in his recollection of 
names, for they now meant something to him. 
He easily recalled all the regular customers 
at his bank,— quite a number by the way for 
the bank was a large one— and many occasion- 

To Remember Names 119 

al depositors were delighted to have them- 
selves called by name by our friend. Occa- 
sionally he would meet with a name that 
balked him, in which case he would repeat it 
over to himself, and write it a number of 
times until he had mastered it— after that it 
never escaped him. 

Mr. X. would always repeat a name when 
it was spoken, and would at the same time 
look intently at the person bearing it, thus 
seeming to fix the two together in his mind 
at the same time— when he wanted them they 
would be found in each other 's company. He 
also acquired the habit of visualizing the name 
—that is, he would see its letters in his mind's 
jeye, as a picture. This he regarded as a 
most important point, and we thoroughly 
agree with him. He used the Law of Associa- 
tion in the direction of associating a new man 
with a well-remembered man of the same 
name. A new Mr. Schmidtzenberger would 
be associated with an old customer of the same 
name— when he would see the new man, he 
would think of the old one, and the name 
would flash into his mind. To sum up the 
whole method, however, it may be said that 

120 Memory 

the gist of the thing was in taking an interest 
in names in general. In this way an uninter- 
esting subject was made interesting—and a 
man always has a good memory for the things 
in which he is interested. 

The case of Mr. X. is an extreme one— and 
the results obtained were beyond the ordi- 
nary. But if you will take a leaf from his 
book, you may obtain the same results in the 
degree that you work for it. Make a study 
of names— start a collection— and you will 
have no trouble in developing a memory for 
them. This is the whole thing in a nut-shell. 



The memory of faces is closely connected 
with the memory of names, and yet the two 
are not always associated, for there are many 
people who easily remember faces, and yet 
forget names, and vice versa. In some ways, 
however, the memory of faces is a necessary 
precedent for the recollection of the names of 
people. For unless we recall the face, we are 
unable to make the necessary association with 
the name of the person. We have given a 
number of instances of face-memory, in our 
chapter on name-memory, in which are given 
instances of the wonderful memory of cele- 
brated individuals who acquired a knowledge 
and memory of the thousands of citizens of a 
town, or city, or the soldiers of an army. In 
this chapter, however, we shall pay attention 
only to the subject of the recollection of the 
features of persons, irrespective of their 
names. This faculty is possessed by all per- 


122 Memory 

sons, but in varying degrees. Those in whom 
it is well developed seem to recognize the 
faces of persons whom they have met ymrs 
before, and to associate them with the cir- 
cumstances in which they last met them, even 
where the name escapes the memory. Others 
seem to forget a face the moment it passes 
from view, and fail to recognize the same per- 
sons whom they met only a few hours before, 
much to their mortification and chagrin. 

Detectives, newspaper reporters, and others 
who come in contact with many people, usu- 
ally have this faculty largely developed, for it 
becomes a necessity of their work, and their 
interest and attention is rendered active 
thereby. Public men often have this faculty 
largely developed by reason of the necessities 
of their life. It is said that James G. Blaine 
never forgot the face of anyone whom he had 
met and conversed with a few moments. This 
faculty rendered him very popular in political 
life. In this respect he resembled Henry 
Clay, who was noted for his memory of faces. 
It is related of Clay that he once paid a visit 
of a few hours to a small town in Mississippi, 
on an electioneering tour. Amidst the throng 

To Remember Faces 123 

surrounding him was an old man, with one eye 
missing. The old fellow pressed forward cry- 
ing out that he was sure that Henry Clay 
would remember him. Clay took a sharp look 
at him and said: "I met you in Kentucky 
many years ago, did I not?" "Yes," replied 
the man. "Did you lose your eye since 
then?" asked Clay. "Yes, several years 
after," replied the old man. "Turn your 
face side-ways, so that I can see your profile," 
said Clay. The man did so. Then Clay 
smiled, triumphantly, saying: "I've got you 
now— weren't you on that jury in the Innes 
case at Frankfort, that I tried in the United 
States Court over twenty years ago?" "Yes 
siree!" said the man, "I knowed that ye 
know me, 'n I told 'em you would." And the 
crowd gave a whoop, and Clay knew that he 
was safe in that town and county. 

Vidocq, the celebrated French detective, is 
said to have never forgotten a face of a crim- 
inal whom he had once seen. A celebrated in- 
stance of this power on his part is that of 
the case of Delafranche the forger who es- 
caped from prison and dwelt in foreign lands 
for over twenty years. After that time he re- 

124 Memory 

turned to Paris feeling secure from detection, 
having become bald, losing an eye, and hav- 
ing his nose badly mutilated. Moreover he dis- 
guised himself and wore a beard, in order to 
still further evade detection. One day Vidocq 
met him on the street, and recognized him at 
once, his arrest and return to prison follow- 
ing. Instances of this kind could be multi- 
plied indefinitely, but the student will have 
had a sufficient acquaintance with persons 
who possess this faculty developed to a large 
degree, so that further illustration is scarcely 

The way to develop this phase of memory 
is akin to that urged in the development of 
other phases— the cultivation of interest, and 
the bestowal of attention. Faces as a whole 
are not apt to prove interesting. It is only by 
analyzing and classifying them that the study 
begins to grow of interest to us. The study 
of a good elementary work on physiognomy 
is recommended to those wishing to develop 
the faculty of remembering faces, for in such 
a work the student is led to notice the differ- 
ent kinds of noses, ears, eyes, chins, fore- 
heads, etc, such notice and recognition tend- 

To Eemember Faces 125 

ing to induce an interest in the subject of 
features. A rudimentary course of study in 
drawing faces, particularly in profile, will 
also tend to make one "take notice" and will 
awaken interest. If you are required to draw 
a nose, particularly from memory, you will be 
apt to give to it your interested attention. 
The matter of interest is vital. If you were 
shown a man and told that the next time you 
met and recognized him he would hand you 
over $500, you would be very apt to study 
his face carefully, and to recognize him later 
on ; whereas the same man if introduced casu- 
ally as a "Mr. Jones," would arouse no in- 
terest and the chances of recognition would 
be slim. 

Halleck says: Every time we enter a 
street car we see different types of people, 
and there is a great deal to be noticed about 
each type. Every human countenance shows 
its past history to one who knows how to look. 
. . . Successful gamblers often become so 
expert in noticing the slightest change of an 
opponent's facial expression that they will 
estimate the strength of his hand by the in- 
voluntary signs which appear in the face and 

126 Memoey 

which are frequently checked the instant they 
appear. ' ' 

Of all classes, perhaps artists are more apt 
to form a clear cut image of the features of 
persons whom they meet— particularly if they 
are portrait painters. There are instances of 
celebrated portrait painters who were able to 
execute a good portrait after having once 
carefully studied the face of the sitter, their 
memory enabling them to visualize the fea- 
tures at will. Some celebrated teachers of 
drawing have instructed their scholars to take 
a sharp hasty glance at a nose, an eye, an ear, 
or chin, and then to so clearly visualize it that 
they could draw it perfectly. It is all a mat- 
ter of interest, attention, and practice. Sir 
Francis Galton cites the instance of a French 
teacher who trained his pupils so thoroughly 
in this direction that after a few months' 
practice they had no difficulty in summoning 
images at will ; in holding them steady ; and in 
drawing them correctly. He says of the fac- 
ulty of visualization thus used: "A faculty 
that is of importance in all technical and artis- 
tic occupations, that gives accuracy to our 
perceptions, and justice to our generaliza- 

To Remember Faces 127 

tions, is starved by lazy disuse, instead of be- 
ing cultivated judiciously in such a way as 
will, on the whole, bring the best return, I 
believe that a serious study of the best means 
of developing and utilizing this faculty, with- 
out prejudice to the practice of abstract 
thought in symbols, is one of the many press- 
ing desiderata in the yet unformed science 
of education. " 

Fuller relates the method of a celebrated 
painter, which method has been since taught 
by many teachers of both drawing and mem- 
ory. He relates it as follows: "The cele- 
brated painter Leonardo da Vinci invented a 
most ingenious method for identifying faces, 
and by it is said to have been able to repro- 
duce from memory any face that he had once 
carefully scrutinized. He drew all the pos- 
sible forms of the nose, mouth, chin, eyes, 
ears and forehead, numbered them 1, 2, 3, 4, 
etc., and committed them thoroughly to mem- 
ory; then, whenever he saw a face that he 
wished to draw or paint from memory, he 
noted in his mind that it was chin 4, eyes 2, 
nose 5, ears 6,— or whatever the combinations 
might be— and by retaining the analysis in 

128 Memoky 

his memory he could reconstruct the face at 
any time." We could scarcely ask the stu- 
dent to attempt so complicated a system, and 
yet a modification of it would prove useful. 
That is, if you would begin to form a classi- 
fication of several kind of noses, say about 
seven, the well-known Eoman, Jewish, Gre- 
cian, giving you the general classes, in con- 
nection with straight, crooked, pug and all 
the other varieties, you would soon recognize 
noses when you saw them. And the same with 
mouths, a few classes being found to cover 
the majority of cases. But of all the features, 
the eye is the most expressive, and the one 
most easily remembered, when clearly noticed. 
Detectives rely much upon the expression of 
the eye. If you ever fully catch the expres- 
sion of a person's eye, you will be very apt to 
recognize it thereafter. Therefore concen- 
trate on eyes in studying faces. 

A good plan in developing this faculty is to 
visualize the faces of persons you have met 
during the day, in the evening. Try to de- 
velop the faculty of visualizing the features 
of those whom you know— this will start you 
off right. Draw them in your mind— see 

To Eemember Faces 129 

them with your mind's eye, until you can vis- 
ualize the features of very old friends; then 
do the same with acquaintances, and so on, 
until you are able to visualize the features of 
every one you "know." Then start on to add 
to your list by recalling in the imagination, 
the features of strangers whom you meet. By 
a little practice of this kind you will develop 
a great interest in faces and your memory of 
them, and the power to recall them will in- 
crease rapidly. The secret is to study faces 
—to be interested in them. In this way you 
add zest to the task, and make a pleasure of a 
drudgery. The study of photographs is also 
a great aid in this work— but study them in 
detail, not as a whole. If you can arouse 
sufficient interest in features and faces, you 
will have no trouble in remembering and re- 
calling them. The two things go together. 



There is a great difference in the various 
degrees of development of " the sense of local- 
ity' ' in different persons. But these differ- 
ences may be traced directly to the degree of 
memory of that particular phase or faculty 
of the mind, which in turn depends upon the 
degree of attention, interest, and use which 
has been bestowed upon the faculty in ques- 
tion. The authorities on phrenology define 
the faculty of "locality as follows: "Cogni- 
zance of place; recollection of the looks of 
places, roads, scenery, and the location of ob- 
jects ; where on a page ideas are to be found, 
and position generally; the geographical fac- 
ulty; the desire to see places, and have the 
ability to find them." Persons in whom this 
faculty is developed to the highest degree 
seem to have an almost intuitive idea of di- 
rection, place and position. They never get 
lost or "mixed up" regarding direction or 


To Eemembee Places 131 

place. They remember the places they visit 
and their relation in space to each other. 
Their minds are like maps upon which are 
engraved the various roads, streets and ob- 
jects of sight in every direction. When these 
people think of China, Labrador, Terra del 
Fuego, Norway, Cape of Good Hope, Thibet, 
or any other place, they seem to think of it in 
"this direction or that direction' ' rather than 
as a vague place situated in a vague direction. 
Their minds think " north, south, east or 
west" as the case may be when they consider 
a given place. Shading down by degrees we 
find people at the other pole of the faculty 
who seem to find it impossible to remember 
any direction, or locality or relation in space. 
Such people are constantly losing themselves 
in their own towns, and fear to trust them- 
selves in a strange place. They have no sense 
of direction, or place, and fail to recognize a 
street or scene which they have visited re- 
cently, not to speak of those which they trav- 
eled over in time past. Between these two 
poles or degrees there is a vast difference, 
and it is difficult to realize that it is all a mat- 
ter of use, interest and attention. That it is 

132 Memory 

but this may be proven by anyone who will 
take the trouble and pains to develop the 
faculty and memory of locality within his 
mind. Many have done this, and anyone else 
may do likewise if the proper methods be em- 

The secret of the development of the faculty 
and memory of place and locality is akin to 
that mentioned in the preceding chapter, in 
connection with the development of the mem- 
ory for names. The first thing necessary is 
to develop an interest in the subject. One 
should begin to "take notice" of the direction 
of the streets or roads over which he travels ; 
the landmarks; the turns of the road; the 
natural objects along the way. He should 
study maps, until he awakens a new interest 
in them, just as did the man who used the 
directory in order to take an interest in 
names. He should procure a small geography 
and study direction, distances, location, shape 
and form of countries, etc., not as a mere me- 
chanical thing but as a live subject of interest. 
If there were a large sum of money awaiting 
your coming in certain sections of the globe, 
you would manifest a decided interest in the 

To Remember Places 133 

direction, locality and position of those places, 
and the best way to reach them. Before long 
you would be a veritable reference book re- 
garding those special places. Or, if your 
sweetheart were waiting for you in some such 
place, you would do likewise. The whole 
thing lies in the degree of "want to" regard- 
ing the matter. Desire awakens interest ; in- 
terest employs attention; and attention 
brings use, development and memory. There- 
fore you must first want to develop the fac- 
ulty of Locality— and want to "hard 
enough. ' ' The rest is a mere matter of detail. 
One of the first things to do, after arousing 
an interest, is to carefully note the landmarks 
and relative positions of the streets or roads 
over which you travel. So many people travel 
along a new street or road in an absent- 
minded manner, taking no notice of the lay 
of the land as they proceed. This is fatal to 
place-memory. You must take notice of the 
thoroughfares and the things along the way. 
Pause at the cross roads, or the street-corners 
and note the landmarks, and the general 
directions and relative positions, until they 
are firmly imprinted on your mind. Begin to 

134 Memoby 

see how many things you can remember re- 
garding even a little exercise walk. And 
when you have returned home, go over the 
trip in your mind, and see how much of the 
direction and how many of the landmarks you 
are able to remember. Take out your pencil, 
and endeavor to make a map of your route, 
giving the general directions, and noting the 
street names, and principal objects of inter- 
est. Fix the idea of " North' ' in your mind 
when starting, and keep your bearings by it 
during your whole trip, and in your map 
making. You will be surprised how much 
interest you will soon develop in this map- 
making. It will get to be quite a game, and 
you will experience pleasure in your increas- 
ing proficiency in it. When you go out for a 
walk, go in a round-about way, taking as 
many turns and twists as possible, in order 
to exercise your faculty of locality and direc- 
tion—but always note carefully direction and 
general course, so that you may reproduce it 
correctly on your map when you return. If 
you have a city map, compare it with your 
own little map, and also re-trace your route, 
in imagination, on the map. With a city map, 

To Kemember Places 135 

or road-map, you may get lots of amusement 
by re- traveling the route of your little jour- 

Always note the names of the various 
streets over which you travel, as well as those 
which you cross during your walk. Note them 
down upon your map, and you will find that 
you will develop a rapidly improving mem- 
ory in this direction— because you have awak- 
ened interest and bestowed attention. Take 
a pride in your map making. If you have a 
companion, endeavor to beat each other at 
this game— both traveling over the same route 
together, and then seeing which one can re- 
member the greatest number of details of the 

Akin to this, and supplementary to it, is 
the plan of selecting a route to be traveled, 
on your city map, endeavoring to fix in 
your mind the general directions, names 
of streets, turns, return journey, etc., 
before you start. Begin by mapping out a 
short trip in this way, and then increase it 
every day. After mapping out a trip, lay 
aside your map and travel it in person. If 
you like, take along the map and puzzle out 

136 Memoky 

variations, from time to time. Get the map 
habit in every possible variation and form, 
but do not depend upon the map exclusively ; 
but instead, endeavor to correlate the printed 
map with the mental map that you are build- 
ing in your brain. 

If you are about to take a journey to a 
strange place, study your maps carefully be- 
fore you go, and exercise your memory in 
reproducing them with a pencil. Then as you 
travel along, compare places with your map, 
and you will find that you will take an en- 
tirely new interest in the trip— it will begin 
by meaning something to you. If about to 
visit a strange city, procure a map of it be- 
fore starting, and begin by noting the cardinal 
points of the compass, study the map— the 
directions of the principal streets and the 
relative positions of the principal points of 
interest, buildings, etc. In this way you not 
only develop your memory of places, and 
render yourself proof against being lost, but 
you also provide a source of new and great 
interest in your visit. 

The above suggestions are capable of the 
greatest expansion and variation on the part 

To Eemember Places 137 

of anyone who practices them. The whole 
thing depends upon the "taking notice " and 
using the attention, and those things in turn 
depend upon the taking of interest in the sub- 
ject If anyone will "wake up and take in- 
ter est" in the subject of locality and direction 
he may develop himself along the lines of 
place-memory to an almost incredible degree, 
in a comparatively short time at that. There 
is no other phase of memory that so quickly 
responds to use and exercise as this one. We 
have in mind a lady who was notoriously defi- 
cient in the memory of place, and was sure to 
lose herself a few blocks from her stopping 
place, wherever she might be. She seemed 
absolutely devoid of the sense of direction or 
locality and often lost herself in the hotel 
corridors, notwithstanding the fact that she 
traveled all over the world, with her husband, 
for years. The trouble undoubtedly arose 
from jthe fact that she depended altogether 
upon her husband as a pilot, the couple being 
inseparable. Well, the husband died, and the 
lady lost her pilot. Instead of giving up in 
despair, she began to rise to the occasion- 
having no pilot, she had to pilot herself. And 

138 Memory 

she was forced to "wake up and take notice." 
She was compelled to travel for a couple of 
years, in order to close up certain business 
matters of her husband's— for she was a good 
business woman in spite of her lack of de- 
velopment along this one line— and in order 
to get around safely, she was forced to take 
an interest in where she was going. Before 
the two years' travels were over, she was as 
good a traveler as her husband had ever been, 
and was frequently called upon as a guide by 
others in whose company she chanced to be. 
She explained it by saying "Why, I don't 
know just how I did it— I just had to, that's 
all— I just did it." Another example of a 
woman 's ' ' because, ' ' you see. What this good 
lady "just did," was accomplished by an 
instinctive following of the plan which we 
have suggested to you. She "just had to" 
use maps and to "take notice." That is the 
whole story. 

So true are the principles underlying this 
method of developing the place-memory, that 
one deficient in it, providing he will arouse 
intense interest and will stick to it, may de- 
velop the faculty to such an extent that he 

To Eemembee Places 139 

may almost rival the cat which "always came 
back," or the dog which "you couldn't lose." 
The Indians, Arabs, Gypsies and other peo- 
ple of the plain, forest, desert, and mountains, 
have this faculty so highly developed that it 
seems almost like an extra sense. It is all 
this matter of "taking notice" sharpened by 
continuous need, use and exercise, to a high 
degree. The mind will respond to the need 
if the person like the lady, "just has to." 
The laws of Attention and Association will 
work wonders when actively called into play 
by Interest or need, followed by exercise and 
use. There is no magic in the process— just 
"want to" and "keep at it," that's all. Do 
you want to hard enough— have you the de- 
termination to keep at it? 



The faculty of Number— that is the faculty 
of knowing, recognizing and remembering fig- 
ures in the abstract and in their relation to 
each other, differs very materially among dif- 
ferent individuals. To some, figures and 
numbers are apprehended and remembered 
with ease, while to others they possess no in- 
terest, attraction or affinity, and consequently 
are not apt to be remembered. It is generally 
admitted by the best authorities that the 
memorizing of dates, figures, numbers, etc., 
is the most difficult of any of the phases of 
memory. But all agree that the faculty may 
be developed by practice and interest. There 
have been instances of persons having this 
faculty of the mind developed to a degree 
almost incredible ; and other instances of per- 
sons having started with an aversion to fig- 
ures and then developing an interest which 


To Remember Numbers 141 

resulted in their acquiring a remarkable de- 
gree of proficiency along these lines. 

Many of the celebrated mathematicians and 
astronomers developed wonderful memories 
for figures. Herschel is said to have been 
able to remember all the details of intricate 
calculations in his astronomical computa- 
tions, even to the figures of the fractions. 
It is said that he was able to perform the most 
intricate calculations mentally, without the 
use of pen or pencil, and then dictated to his 
assistant the entire details of the process, in- 
cluding the final results. Tycho Brahe, the 
astronomer, also possessed a similar memory. 
It is said that he rebelled at being compelled 
to refer to the printed tables of square roots 
and cube roots, and set to work to memorize 
the entire set of tables, which almost incred- 
ible task he accomplished in a half day— this 
required the memorizing of over 75,000 fig- 
ures, and their relations to each other. Euler 
the mathematician became blind in his old 
age, and being unable to refer to his tables, 
memorized them. It is said that he was able 
to repeat from recollection the first six powers 
of all the numbers from one to one hundred. 

142 Memory 

Wallis the mathematician was a prodigy 
in this respect. He is reported to have been 
able to mentally extract the square root of a 
number to forty decimal places, and on one 
occasion mentally extracted the cube root of 
a number consisting of thirty figures. Dase 
is said to have mentally multiplied two num- 
bers of one hundred figures each. A youth 
named Mangiamele was able to perform the 
most remarkable feats in mental arithmetic. 
The reports show that upon a celebrated test 
before members of the French Academy of 
Sciences he was able to extract the cube root 
of 3,796,416 in thirty seconds ; and the tenth 
root of 282,475,289 in three minutes. He also 
immediately solved the following question put 
to him by Arago: "What number has the 
following proportion: That if five times the 
number be subtracted from the cube plus 
five times the square of the number, and nine 
times the square of the number be subtracted 
from that result, the remainder will be 0?" 
The answer, "5" was given immediately, 
without putting down a figure on paper or 
board. It is related that a cashier of a Chi- 
cago bank was able to mentally restore the 

To Remember Numbers 143 

accounts of the bank, which had been de- 
stroyed in the great fire in that city, and his 
account which was accepted by the bank and 
the depositors, was found to agree perfectly 
with the other memoranda in the case, the 
work performed by him being solely the work 
of his memory. 

Bidder was able to tell instantly the num- 
ber of farthings in the sum of £868,42s,121d. 
Buxton mentally calculated the number of 
cubical eighths of an inch there were in a 
quadrangular mass 23,145,789 yards long, 2,- 
642,732 yards wide and 54,965 yards in thick- 
ness. He also figured out mentally, the 
dimensions of an irregular estate of about a 
thousand acres, giving the contents in acres 
and perches, then reducing them to square 
inches, and then reducing them to square hair- 
breadths, estimating 2,304 to the square inch, 
48 to each side. The mathematical prodigy, 
Zerah Colburn, was perhaps the most remark- 
able of any of these remarkable people. 
When a mere child, he began to develop the 
most amazing qualities of mind regarding fig- 
ures. He was able to instantly make the men- 
tal calculation of the exact number of seconds 

144 Memoby 

or minutes there was in a given time. On one 
occasion he calculated the number of minutes 
and seconds contained in forty-eight years, 
the answer: "25,228,800 minutes, and 1,513,- 
728,000 seconds," being given almost instan- 
taneously. He could instantly multiply any 
number of one to three figures, by another 
number consisting of the same number of 
figures; the factors of any number consisting 
of six or seven figures ; the square, and cube 
roots, and the prime numbers of any numbers 
given him. He mentally raised the number 
8, progressively, to its sixteenth power, the 
result being 281,474,976,710,656; and gave 
the square root of 106,929, which was 5. He 
mentally extracted the cube root of 268,336,- 
125 ; and the squares of 244,999,755 and 1,224,- 
998,:755. In five seconds he calculated the 
cube root of 413,993,348,677. He found the 
factors of 4,294,967,297, which had previously 
been considered to be a prime number. He 
mentally calculated the square of 999,999, 
which is 999,998,000,001 and then miltiplied | 
that number by 49, and the product by the 
same number, and the whole by 25— the latter 
as extra measure. 

To Eemember Numbers 145 

The great difficulty in remembering num- 
bers, to the majority of persons, is the fact 
that numbers "do not mean anything to 
them"— that is, that numbers are thought of 
only in their abstract phase and nature, and 
are consequently far more difficult to remem- 
ber than are impressions received from the 
senses of sight or sound. The remedy, how- 
ever, becomes apparent when we recognize the 
source of the difficulty. The remedy is: 
Make the number the subject of sound and 
sight impressions. Attach the abstract idea 
of the numbers to the sense of impressions of 
sight or sound, or both, according to which 
are the best developed in your particular case. 
It may be difficult for you to remember 
"1848" as an abstract thing, but compara- 
tively easy for you to remember the sound of 
"eighteen forty-eight," or the shape and ap- 
pearance of "1848." If you will repeat a 
number to yourself, so that you grasp the 
sound impression of it, or else visualize it so 
that you can remember having seen it— then 
you will be far more apt to remember it than 
if you merely think of it without reference 
to sound or form. You may forget that the 

146 Memory 

number of a certain store or house is 3948, 
but you may easily remember the sound of 
the spoken words " thirty-nine forty-eight," 
or the form of "3948" as it appeared to your 
sight on the door of the place. In the latter 
case, you associate the number with the door 
and when you visualize the door you visual- 
ize the number. 

Kay, speaking of visualization, or the re- 
production of mental images of things to be 
remembered, says: "Those who have been 
distinguished for their power to carry out 
long and intricate processes of mental calcu- 
lation owe it to the same cause." Taine says : 
"Children accustomed to calculate in their 
heads write mentally with chalk on an imagin- 
ary board the figures in question, then all 
their partial operations, then the final sum, so 
that they see internally the different lines of 
white figures with which they are concerned. 
Young Colburn, who had never been at school 
and did not know how to read or write, said 
that, when making his calculations 'he saw 
them clearly before him.' Another said that he 
'saw the numbers he was working with as if 
they had been written on a slate/ " Bidder 

To Remember Numbers 147 

said : ' ' If I perform a sum mentally, it always 
proceeds in a visible form in my mind; in- 
deed, I can conceive of no other way possible 
of doing mental arithmetic. ' ' 

We have known office boys who could never 
remember the number of an address until it 
were distinctly repeated to them several 
times— then they memorized the sound and 
never forget it. Others forget the sounds, or 
failed to register them in the mind, but after 
once seeing the number on the door of an 
office or store, could repeat it at a moments 
notice, saying that they mentally " could see 
the figures on the door." You will find by a 
little questioning that the majority of people 
remember figures or numbers in this way, and 
that very few can remember them as abstract 
things. For that matter it is difficult for the 
majority of persons to even think of a num- 
ber, abstractly. Try it yourself, and ascer- 
tain whether you do not remember the num- 
ber as either a sound of words, or else as the 
mental image or visualization of the form of 
the figures. And, by the way, which ever it 
happens to be, sight or sound, that particular 
kind of remembrance is your best way of 

148 Memoby 

remembering numbers, and consequently 
gives you the lines upon which you should 
proceed to develop this phase of memory. 

The law of Association may be used advan- 
tageously in memorizing numbers; for in- 
stance we know of a person who remembered 
the number 186,000 (the number of miles per 
second traveled by light-waves in the ether) 
by associating it with the number of his 
father's former place of business, "186." 
Another remembered his telephone number 

' "1876" by recalling the date of the Declara- 
tion of Independence. Another, the number 
of States in the Union, by associating it with 
the last two figures of the number of his place 
% of business. But by far the better way to 

/ memorize dates, special numbers connected 
with events, etc., it to visualize the picture of 
the event with the picture of the date or num- 
ber, thus combining the two things into a 
mental picture, the association of which will 
be preserved when the picture is recalled. 
Verse of doggerel, such as "In fourteen hun- 
dred and ninety-two, Columbus sailed the 
ocean blue;" or "In eighteen hundred and 
sixty-one, our country's Civil war begun," 

To Remember Numbers 149 

etc., have their places and uses. But it is far 
better to cultivate the " sight or sound" of a 
number, than to depend upon cumbersome 
associative methods based on artificial links 
and pegs. 

Finally, as we have said in the preceding 
chapters, before one can develop a good mem- 
ory of a subject, he must first cultivate an in- 
terest in that subject. Therefore, if you will 
keep your interest in figures alive by working 
out a few problems in mathematics, once in a 
while, you will find that figures will begin to 
have a new interest for you. A little elemen- 
tary arithmetic, used with interest, will do 
more to start you on the road to "How to 
Eemember Numbers' ' than a dozen text books 
on the subject. In memory, the three rules 
are: "Interest, Attention and Exercise"— 
and the last is the most important, for with- 
out it the others fail. You will be surprised 
to see how many interesting things there are 
in figures, as you proceed. The task of going 
over the elementary arithmetic will not be 
nearly so "dry" as when you were a child. 
You will uncover all sorts of "queer" things 
in relation to numbers. Just as a "sample" 
let us call your attention to a few : 

150 Memory 

Take the figure "1" and place behind it a 
number of "naughts," thus: 1,000,000,000,- 
000,— as many "naughts" or ciphers as you 
wish. Then divide the number by the figure 
"7." You will find that the result is always 
this "142,857" then another "142,857," and 
so on to infinity, if you wish to carry the cal- 
culation that far. These six figures will be 
repeated over and over again. Then multi- 
ply this "142,857" by the figure "7," and 
your product will be all nines. Then take 
any number, and set it down, placing beneath 
it a reversal of itself and subtract the latter 
from the former, thus : 



and you will find that the result will always 
reduce to nine, and is always a multiple of 
9. Take any number composed of two or 
more figures, and subtract from it the added 
sum of its separate figures, and the result is 
always a multiple of 9, thus: 

To Remember Numbers 151 


1+8+4= 13 


We mention these familiar examples merely 
to remind you that there is much more of in- 
terest in mere figures than many would sup- 
pose. If you can arouse your interest in 
them, then you will be well started on the 
road to the memorizing of numbers. Let fig- 
ures and numbers "mean something" to you, 
and the rest will be merely a matter of detail. 



Like all of the other faculties of the mind, 
that of music or tune is manifested in varying 
degrees by different individuals. To some 
music seems to be almost instinctively 
grasped, while to others it is acquired only 
by great effort and much labor. To some 
harmony is natural, and inharmony a matter 
of repulsion, while others fail to recognize 
the difference between the two except in ex- 
treme cases. Some seem to be the very soul 
of music, while others have no conception of 
what the soul of music may be. Then there 
is manifested the different phases of the 
knowledge of music. Some play correctly by 
ear, but are clumsy and inefficient when it 
comes to playing by note. Others play very 
correctly in a mechanical manner, but fail to 
retain the memory of music which they have 
heard. It is indeed a good musician who 
combines within himself, or herself, both of 


To Remember Music 153 

the two last mentioned faculties— the ear per- 
ception of music and the ability to execute 
correctly from notes. 

There are many cases of record in which 
extraordinary powers of memory of music 
have been manifested. Fuller relates the fol- 
lowing instances of this particular phase of 
memory : Carolan, the greatest of Irish bards, 
once met a noted musician and challenged him 
to a test of their respective musical abilities. 
The defi was accepted and Carolan's rival 
played on his violin one of Vivaldi's most 
difficult concertos. On, the conclusion of the 
performance, Carolan, who had never heard 
the piece before, took his harp and played the 
concerto through from beginning to end with- 
out making a single error. His rival there- 
upon yielded the palm, thoroughly satisfied 
of Carolan 's superiority, as well he might be. 
Beethoven could retain in his memory any 
musical composition, however complex, that 
he had listened to, and could reproduce most 
of it. He could play from memory every one 
of the compositions in Bach's 'Well Tem- 
pered Clavichord/ there being forty-eight 
preludes and the same number of fugues 

154 Memory 

which in intricacy of movement and difficulty 
of execution are almost unexampled, as each 
of these compositions is written in the most 
abstruse style of counterpoint. 

"Mozart, at four years of age, could re- 
member note for note, elaborate solos in con- 
certos which he had heard ; he could learn a 
minuet in half an hour, and even composed 
short pieces at that early age. At six he was 
able to compose without the aid of an instru- 
ment, and continued to advance rapidly in 
musical memory and knowledge. When four- 
teen years old he went to Eome in Holy Week. 
At the Sistine Chapel was performed each 
day, Allegri's i Miserere,' the score of which 
Mozart wished to obtain, but he learned that 
no copies were allowed to be made. He 
listened attentively to the performance, at 
the conclusion of which he wrote the whole 
score from memory without an error. An- 
other time, Mozart was engaged to contribute 
an original composition to be performed by a 
noted violinist and himself at Vienna before 
the Emperor Joseph. On arriving atj the 
appointed place Mozart discovered that he 
had forgotten to bring his part. Nothing 

To Remember Muffl 155 

dismayed, he placed a blank sheet of paper 
before him, and played his part through from 
memory without a mistake. When the opera 
of 'Don Giovanni' was first performed there 
was no time to copy the score for the harpsi- 
chord, but Mozart was equal to the occasion ; 
he conducted the entire opera and played the 
harpischord accompaniment to the songs and 
choruses without a note before him. There 
are many well-attested instances of Mendels- 
sohn's remarkable musical memory. He once 
gave a grand concert in London, at which his 
Overture to 'Midsummer Night's Dream' 
was produced. There was only one copy of 
the full score, which was taken charge of by 
the organist of St. Paul's Cathedral, who un- 
fortunately left it in a hackney coach— where- 
upon Mendelssohn wrote out another score 
from memory, without an error. At another 
time, when about to direct a public perform- 
ance of Bach's 'Passion Music,' he found on 
mounting the conductor's platform that in- 
stead of the score of the work to be per- 
formed, that of another composition had been 
brought by mistake. Without hesitation 
Mendelssohn successfully conducted this com- 

156 Memoey 

plicated work from memory, automatically 
turning over leaf after leaf of the score be- 
fore him as the performance progressed, so 
that no feeling of uneasiness might enter the 
minds of the orchestra and singers. Gotts- 
chalk, it is said, could play from memory sev- 
eral thousand compositions, including many 
of the works of Bach. The noted conductor, 
Vianesi, rarely has the score before him in 
conducting an opera, knowing every note of 
many operas from memory.' * 

It will be seen that two phases of memory 
must enter into the "memory of music"— 
the memory of tune and the memory of the 
notes. The memory of tune of course falls 
into the class of ear-impressions, and what 
has been said regarding them is also appli- 
cable to this case. The memory of notes falls 
into the classification of eye-impressions, and 
the rules of this class of memory applies in 
this case. As to the cultivation of the mem- 
ory of tune, the principle advice to be given 
is that the student take an active interest in 
all that pertains to the sound of music, and 
also takes every opportunity for listening to 
good music, and endeavoring to reproduce it 

To Eemember Music 157 

in the imagination or memory. Endeavor to 
enter into the spirit of the music until it be- 
comes a part of yourself. Best not content 
with merely hearing it, but lend yourself to a 
feeling of its meaning. The more the music 
\ ' means to you," the more easily will you 
remember it. The plan followed by many stu- 
dents, particularly those of vocal music, is to 
have a few bars of a piece played over to 
them several times, until they are able to hum 
it correctly ; then a few more are added ; and 
then a few more and so on. Each addition 
must be reviewed in connection with that 
which was learned before, so that the chain of 
association may be kept unbroken. The prin- 
ciple is the same as the child learning his 
A-B-C— he remembers "B" because it fol- 
lows "A." By this constant addition of 
" just a little bit more," accompanied by fre- 
quent reviews, long and difficult pieces may 
be memorized. 

The memory of notes may be developed by 
the method above named— the method of 
learning a few bars well, and then adding a 
few more, and frequently reviewing as far 
as you have learned, forging the links of as- 

158 Memory 

sociation as you go along, by frequent prac- 
tice. The method being entirely that of 
eye-impression and subject to its rules, you 
must observe the idea of visualization— that 
is learning each bar until you can see it "in 
your mind's eye" as you proceed. But in 
this, as in many other eye-impressions, you 
will find that you will be greatly aided by 
your memory of the sound of the notes, in 
addition to their appearance. Try to asso- 
ciate the two as much as possible, so that 
when you see a note, you will hear the sound 
of it, and when you liear a note sounded, you 
will see it as it appears on the score. This 
combining of the impressions of both sight 
and sound will give you the benefit of the 
double sense impression, which results in 
doubling your memory efficiency. In addi- 
tion to visualizing the notes themselves, the 
student should add the appearance of the 
various symbols denoting the key, the time, 
the movement, expression, etc., so that he 
may hum the air from the visualized notes, 
with expression and with correct interpreta- 
tion. Changes of key, time or movement 
should be carefully noted in the memoriza- 

To Remember Music 159 

tion of the notes. And above everything else, 
memorize the feeling of that particular por- 
tion of the score, that you may not only see 
and hear, but also feel that which you are re- 

We would advise the student to practice 
memorizing simple songs at first, for various 
reasons. One of these reasons is that these 
songs lend themselves readily to memorizing, 
and the chain of easy association is usually 
maintained throughout. 

In this phase of memory, as in all others, 
we add the advice to: Take interest; bestow 
Attention ; and Practice and Exercise as often 
as possible. You may have tired of these 
words— but they constitute the main princi- 
ples of the development of a retentive mem- 
ory. Things must be impressed upon the 
memory, before they may be recalled. This 
should be remembered in every consideration 
of the subject. 



The phase of memory which manifests in 
the recording of and recollection of the occur- 
rences and details of one's every-day life is 
far more important than would appear at first 
thought. The average person is under the 
impression that he remembers very well the 
occurrences of his every-day business, pro- 
fessional or social life, and is apt to be sur- 
prised to have it suggested to him that he 
really remembers but very little of what hap- 
pens to him during his waking hours. In 
order to prove how very little of this kind is 
really remembered, let each student lay down 
this book, at this place, and then quieting his 
mind let him endeavor to recall the incidents 
of the same day of the preceding week. He 
will be surprised to see how very little of 
what happened on that day he is really ca- 
pable of recollecting. Then let him try the 
same experiment with the occurrences of yes- 


To Remember Occurrences 161 

terday— this result will also excite surprise. 
It is true that if he is reminded of some par- 
ticular occurrence, he will recall it, more or 
less distinctly, but beyond that he will remem- 
ber nothing. Let him imagine himself called 
upon to testify in court, regarding the hap- 
penings of the previous day, or the day of 
the week before, and he will realize his posi- 

The reason for his failure to easily remem- 
ber the events referred to is to be found in 
the fact that he made no effort at the time to 
impress these happenings upon his subcon- 
scious mentality. He allowed them to pass 
from his attention like the proverbial " water 
from the duck's back." He did not wish to 
be bothered with the recollection of trifles, 
and in endeavoring to escape from them, he 
made the mistake of failing to store them 
away. There is a vast difference between 
dwelling on the past, and storing away past 
records for possible future reference. To 
allow the records of each day to be destroyed 
is like tearing up the important business 
papers in an office in order to avoid giving 
them a little space in the files. 

162 Memoby 

It is not advisable to expend much mental 
effort in fastening each important detail of 
the day upon the mind, as it occurs ; but there 
is an easier way that will accomplish the pur- 
pose, if one will but take a little trouble in 
that direction. We refer to the practice of 
reviewing the occurrences of each day, after 
the active work of the day is over. If you 
will give to the occurrences of each day a 
mental review in the evening, you will find 
that the act of reviewing will employ the at- 
tention to such an extent as to register the 
happenings in such a manner that they will 
be available if ever needed thereafter. It is 
akin to the filing of the business papers of 
the day, for possible future reference. Be- 
sides this advantage, these reviews will serve 
you well as a reminder of many little things 
of immediate importance which have escaped 
your recollection by reason of something that 
followed them in the field of attention. 

You will find that a little practice will en- 
able you to review the events of the day, in a 
very short space of time, with a surprising 
degree of accuracy of detail. It seems that 
the mind will readily respond to this demand 

To Remember Occurrences 163 

upon it. The process appears to be akin to a 
mental digestion, or rather a mental rumina- 
tion, similar to that of the cow when it l ' chews 
the cud" that it has previously gathered. 
The thing is largely a " knack" easily ac- 
quired by a little practice. It will pay you 
for the little trouble and time that you expend 
upon it. As we have said, not only do you 
gain the advantage of storing away these 
records of the day for future use, but you 
also have your attention called to many im- 
portant details that have escaped you, and 
you will find that many ideas of importance 
will come to you in your moments of leisure 
"rumination." Let this work be done in the 
evening, when you feel at ease— but do not do 
it after you retire. The bed is made for sleep, 
not for thinking. You will find that the sub- 
consciousness will awaken to the fact that it 
will be called upon later for the records of 
the day, and will, accordingly, "take notice" 
of what happens, in a far more diligent and 
faithful manner. The subconsciousness re- 
sponds to a call made upon it in an astonish- 
ing manner, when it once understands just 
what is required of it. You will see that 

164 Memoby 

much of the virtue of the plan recommended 
consists in the fact that in the review there 
is an employment of the attention in a man- 
ner impossible during the haste and rush of 
the day's work. The faint impressions are 
brought out for examination, and the atten- 
tion of the examination and review greatly 
deepen the impression in each case, so that 
it may be reproduced thereafter. In a sen- 
tence: it is the deepening of the faint impres- 
sions of the day. 

Thurlow Weed, a well-known politician of 
the last century, testifies to the efficacy of 
the above mentioned method, in his "Mem- 
oirs." His plan was slightly different from 
that mentioned by us, but you will at once see 
that it involves the same principles— the same 
psychology. Mr. Weed says: "Some of my 
friends used to think that I was 'cut out' for 
a politician, but I saw at once a fatal weak- 
ness. My memory was a sieve. I could re- 
member nothing. Dates, names, appoint- 
ments, faces— everything escaped me. I said 
to my wife, ' Catherine, I shall never make a 
successful politician, for I cannot remember, 
and that is a prime necessity of politicians. 

To Remember Occurrences 165 

A politician who sees a man once should re- 
member him forever. ' My wife told me that 
I must train my memory. So when I came 
home that night I sat down alone and spent 
fifteen minutes trying silently to recall with 
accuracy the principal events of the day. 
I could remember but little at first— now I 
remember that I could not then recall what I 
had for breakfast. After a few days' prac- 
tice I found I could recall more. Events 
came back to me more minutely, more accu- 
rately, and more vividly than at first. After 
a fortnight or so of this, Catherine said /why 
don't you relate to me the events of the day 
instead of recalling them to yourself? It 
would be interesting and my interest in it 
would be a stimulus to you.' Having great 
respect for my wife's opinion, I began a 
habit of oral confession, as it were, which was 
continued for almost fifty years. Every 
night, the last thing before retiring, I told her 
everything I could remember that had hap- 
pened to me, or about me, during the day. I 
generally recalled the very dishes I had for 
breakfast, dinner and tea; the people I had 
seen, and what they had said; the editorials 

166 Memoby 

I had written for my paper, giving her a hrief 
abstract of them; I mentioned all the letters 
I had seen and received, and the very lan- 
guage used, as nearly as possible ; when I had 
walked or ridden— I told her everything that 
had come within my observation. I found 
that I could say my lessons better and better 
every year, and instead of the practice grow- 
ing irksome, it became a pleasure to go over 
again the events of the day. I am indebted 
to this discipline for a memory of unusual 
tenacity, and I recommend the practice to all 
who wish to store up facts, or expect to have 
much to do with influencing men." 

The careful student, after reading these 
words of Thurlow Weed, will see that in 
them he has not only given a method of re- 
calling the particular class of occurrences 
mentioned in this lesson, but has also pointed 
out a way whereby the entire field of memory 
may be trained and developed. The habit of 
reviewing and "telling" the things that one 
perceives, does and thinks during the day, 
naturally sharpens the powers of future ob- 
servation, attention and perception. If you 
are witnessing a thing which you know that 

To Remember Occurrences 167 

you will be called upon to describe to another 
person, you will instinctively apply your at- 
tention to it. The knowledge that you will be 
called upon for a description of a thing will 
give the zest of interest or necessity to it, 
which may be lacking otherwise. If you will 
" sense' ' things with the knowledge that you 
will be called upon to tell of them later on, 
you will give the interest and attention that 
go to make sharp, clear and deep impressions 
on the memory. In this case the seeing and 
hearing has "a meaning" to you, and a pur- 
pose. In addition to this, the work of review 
establishes a desirable habit of mind. If you 
don't care to relate the occurrences to another 
person— learn to tell them to yourself in the 
evening. Play the part yourself. There is a 
valuable secret of memory imbedded in this 
chapter— if you are wise enough to apply it. 



In speaking of this phase of memory we use 
the word "fact" in the sense of "an ascer- 
tained item of knowledge," rather than in 
the sense of "a happening," etc. In this 
sense the Memory of Facts is the ability to 
store away and recollect items of knowledge 
bearing upon some particular thing under 
consideration. If we are considering the sub- 
ject of "Horse," the "facts" that we wish 
to remember are the various items of infor- 
mation and knowledge regarding the horse, 
that we have acquired during opir experience 
—facts that we have seen, heard or read, re- 
garding the animal in question and to that 
which concerns it. We are continually ac- 
quiring items of information regarding all 
kinds of subjects, and yet when we wish to 
collect them we often find the task rather 
difficult, even though the original impressions 
were quite clear. The difficulty is largely due 


To Eemembee Facts 169 

to the fact that the various facts are asso- 
ciated in our minds only by contiguity in time 
or place, or both, the associations of relation 
being lacking. In other words we have not 
properly classified and indexed our bits of 
information, and do not know where to begin 
to search for them. It is like the confusion 
of the business man who kept all of his papers 
in a barrel, without index, or order. He 
knew that "they are all there/ 9 but he had 
hard work to find any one of them when it 
was required. Or, we are like the compositor 
whose type has become "pied," and then 
thrown into a big box— when he attempts to 
set up a book page, he will find it very diffi- 
cult, if not impossible— whereas, if each let- 
ter were in its proper "box," he would set 
up the page in a short time. 

This matter of association by relation is 
one of the most important things in the whole 
subject of thought, and the degree of correct 
and efficient thinking depends materially 
upon it. It does not suffice us to merely 
"know" a thing— we must know where to 
find it when we want it. As old Judge 
Sharswood, of Pennsylvania, once said: "It 

170 Memory 

is not so much to know the law, as to know 
where to find it." Kay says: "Over the asso- 
ciations formed by contiguity in time or space 
we have but little control. They are in a 
manner accidental, depending upon the order 
in which the objects present themselves to 
the mind. On the other hand, association by 
similarity is largely put in our own power; 
for we, in a measure, select those objects that 
are to be associated, and bring them together 
in the mind. We must be careful, however, 
only to associate together such things as we 
wish to be associated together and to recall 
each other; and the associations we form 
should be based on fundamental and essential, 
and not upon mere superficial or casual re- 
semblances. "When things are associated by 
their accidental, and not by their essential 
qualities,— by their superficial, and not by 
their fundamental relations, they will not be 
available when wanted, and will be of little 
real use. When we associate what is new 
with what most nearly resembles it in the 
mind already, we give it its proper place in 
our fabric of thought. By means of associa- 
tion by similarity, we tie up our ideas, as it 

To Remember Facts 171 

were, in separate bundles, and it is of the ut- 
most importance that all the ideas that most 
nearly resemble each other be in one bundle. ' ' 
The best way to acquire correct associa- 
tions, and many of them, for a separate fact 
that you wish to store away so that it may be 
recollected when needed— some useful bit of 
information or interesting bit of knowledge, 
that "may come in handy' ■ later on— is to 
analyze it and its relations. This may be done 
by asking yourself questions about it— each 
thing that you associate it with in your an- 
swers being just one additional " cross-in- 
dex' ' whereby you may find it readily when 
you want it. As Kay says: "The principle 
of asking questions and obtaining answers 
to them, may be said to characterize all intel- 
lectual effort" This is the method by which 
Socrates and Plato drew out the knowledge 
of their pupils, filling in the gaps and attach- 
ing new facts to those already known. When 
you wish to so consider a fact, ask yourself 
the following questions about it: 

I. Where did it come from or originate? 
II. What caused it? 
III. What history or record has it? 

172 Memory 

IV. What are its attributes, qualities and 

characteristics ? 
V. What things can I most readily asso- 
ciate with it? What is it like? 
VI. What is it good for— how may it be 
used— what can I do with it? 
VII. What does it prove— what can be de- 
duced from it? 
VIII. What are its natural results— what 
happens because of it? 
IX. What is its future ; and its natural or 

probable end or finish? 
X. What do I think of it, on the whole— 
what are my general impressions 
regarding it? 
XI. What do I know -about it, in the way 

of general information? 
XII. What have I heard about it, and from 

whom, and when? 
If you will take the trouble to put any 
"fact" through the above rigid examination, 
you will not only attach it to hundreds of con- 
venient and familiar other facts, so that you 
will remember it readily upon occasion, but 
you will also create a new subject of general 
information in your mind of which this par- 

To Eemembee Facts 173 

ticular fact will be the central thought. Simi- 
lar systems of analysis have been published 
and sold by various teachers, at high prices— 
and many men have considered that the re- 
sults justified the expenditure. So do not 
pass it by lightly. 

The more other facts that you manage to 
associate with any one fact, the more pegs 
will you have to hang your facts upon— the 
more " loose ends" will you have whereby to 
pull that fact into the field of consciousness 
—the more cross indexes will you have where- 
by you may "run down" the fact when you 
need it. The more associations you attach 
to a fact, the more "meaning" does that fact 
have for you, and the more interest will be 
created regarding it in your mind. More- 
over, by so doing, you make very probable 
the "automatic" or involuntary recollection 
of that fact when you are thinking of some 
of its associated subjects ; that is, it will come 
into your mind naturally in connection with 
something else— in a "that reminds me" 
fashion. And the oftener that you are invol- 
untarily "reminded" of it, the clearer and 
deeper does its impression become on the 

174 Memory 

records of your memory. The oftener you 
use a fact, the easier does it become to recall 
it when needed. The favorite pen of a man 
is always at his hand in a remembered posi- 
tion, while the less used eraser or similar 
thing has to be searched for, often without; 
success. And the more associations that you 
bestow upon a fact, the oftener is it likely to> 
be used. 

Another point to be remembered is that the 
future association of a fact depends very 
much upon your system of filing away facts.. 
If you will think of this when endeavoring 
to store away a fact for future reference, you 
will be very apt to find the best mental pigeon- 
hole for it* File it away with the thing it most 
resembles, or to which it has the most familiar 
relationship. The child does this, involun- 
tarily—it is nature 's own way. For instance, 
the child sees a zebra, it files away that ani- 
mal as "a donkey with stripes ;" a giraffe as 
a "long-necked horse ;" a camel as a "horse 
with long, crooked legs, long neck and humps 
on its back." The child always attaches its 
new knowledge or fact on to some familiar 
fact or bit of knowledge— sometimes the re- 

To Eemembek Facts 175 

suit is startling, but the child remembers by 
means of it nevertheless. The grown up chil- 
dren will do well to build similar connecting 
links of memory. Attach the new thing to 
some old familiar thing. It is easy when you 
once have the knack of it. The table of ques- 
tions given a little farther back will bring to 
mind many connecting links. Use them. 

If you need any proof of the importance of 
association by relation, and of the laws gov- 
erning its action, you have but to recall the 
ordinary ' ' train of thought ' ' or " chain of im- 
ages" in the mind, of which we become con- 
scious when we are day-dreaming or indulg- 
ing in reverie, or even in general thought re- 
garding any subject. You will see that every 
mental image or idea, or recollection is asso- 
ciated with and connected to the preceding 
thought and the one following it. It is a chain 
that is endless, until something breaks into 
the subject from outside. A fact flashes into 
your mind, apparently from space and with- 
out any reference to anything else. In such 
cases you will find that it occurs either be- 
cause you had previously set your subcon- 
scious mentality at work upon some prob- 

176 Memory 

lem, or bit of recollection, and the flash was 
the belated and delayed result; or else that 
the fact came into your mind because of its 
association with some other fact, which in 
turn came from a precedent one, and so on. 
You hear a distant railroad whistle and you 
think of a train; then of a journey; then of 
some distant place ; then of some one in that 
place; then of some event in the life of that 
person; then of a similar event in the life of 
another person; then of that other person; 
then of his or her brother; then of that 
brother's last business venture; then of that 
business ; then of some other business resem- 
bling it; then of some people in that other 
business ; then of their dealings with a man 
you know ; then of the fact that another man 
of a similar name to the last man owes you 
some money; then of your determination to 
get that money ; then you make a memoran- 
dum to place the claim in the hands of a law- 
yer to see whether it cannot be collected now, 
although the man was "execution proof" last 
year— from distant locomotive whistle to the 
possible collection of the account. r And yet, 
the links forgotten, the man will say that he 

To Remember Facts 177 

"just happened to think of" the debtor, or 
that "it somehow flashed right into my 
mind," etc. But it was nothing but the law 
of association— that's all. Moreover, you 
will now find that whenever you hear men- 
tioned the term "association of mental 
ideas," etc., you will remember the above il- 
lustration or part of it We have forged 
a new link in the chain of association for you, 
and years from now it will appear in your 



In a preceding chapter we gave a number 
of instances of persons who had highly de- 
veloped their memory of words, sentences, 
etc. History is full of instances of this kind. 
The moderns fall far behind the ancients in 
this respect ; probably because there does not 
exist the present necessity for the feats of 
memory which were once accepted as com- 
monplace and not out of the ordinary. Among 
ancient people, when printing was unknown 
and manuscripts scarce and valuable, it was 
the common custom of the people to learn 
"by heart' ' the various sacred teachings of 
their respective religions. The sacred books 
of the Hindus were transmitted in this way, 
and it was a common thing among the 
Hebrews to be able to recite the books of 
Moses and the Prophets entirely from mem- 
ory. Even to this day the faithful Moham- 
medans are taught to commit the entire 


To Remember Words, Etc. 179 

Koran to memory. And investigation re- 
veals, always, that there has been used the 
identical process of committing these sacred 
books to memory, and recalling them at will 
—the natural method, instead of an artificial 
one. And therefore we shall devote this 
chapter solely to this method whereby poems 
or prose may be committed to memory and 
recalled readily. 

This natural method of memorizing words, 
sentences, or verses is no royal road. It is 
a system which must be mastered by steady 
work and faithful review. One must start 
at the beginning and work his way up. But 
the result of such work will astonish anyone 
not familiar with it. It is the very same 
method that the Hindus, Hebrews, Moham- 
medans, Norsemen, and the rest of the races, 
memorized their thousands of verses and 
hundreds of chapters of the sacred books of 
their people. It is the method of the success- 
ful actor, and the popular elocutionist, not to 
mention those speakers who carefully commit 
to memory their "impromptu" addresses and 
' ' extemporaneous ? ' speeches. 

This natural system of memorizing is based 

180 Memory 

upon the principle which has already been 
alluded to in this book, and by which every 
child learns its alphabet and its multiplica- 
tion table, as well as the little "piece' ' that 
it recites for the entertainment of its fond 
parents and the bored friends of the family. 
That principle consists of the learning of one 
line at a time, and reviewing that line; then 
learning a second line and reviewing that; 
and then reviewing the two lines together; 
and so on, each addition being reviewed in 
connection with those that went before. The 
child learns the sound of "A;" then it learns 
"B;" then it associates the sounds of "A, 
B" in its first review; the "C" is added and 
the review runs: "A, B, C." And so on 
until "Z" is reached and the child is able 
to review the entire list from "A to Z," in- 
clusive. The multiplication table begins with 
its "twice 1 is 2," then "twice 2 is 4," and 
so on, a little at a time until the " twos' ' are 
finished and the "threes" begun. This pro- 
cess is kept up, by constant addition and con- 
stant review, until "12 twelves" finishes up 
the list, and the child is able to repeat the 
"tables" from first to last from memory. 

To Remember Words, Etc. 181 

But there is more to it, in the case of the 
child, than merely learning to repeat the 
alphabet or the multiplication table— there is 
also the strengthening of the memory as a 
result of its exercise and use. Memory, like 
every faculty of the mind, or every muscle of 
the body, improves and develops by intel- 
ligent and reasonable use and exercise. Not 
only does this exercise and use develop the 
memory along the particular line of the fac- 
ulty used, but also along every line and 
faculty. This is so because the exercise de- 
velops the power of concentration, and the 
use of the voluntary attention. 

We suggest that the student who wishes 
to acquire a good memory for words, sen- 
tences, etc., begin at once, selecting some fav- 
orite poem for the purpose of the demonstra- 
tion. Then let him memorize one verse of 
not over four to six lines to begin with. Let 
him learn this verse perfectly, line by line, 
until he is able to repeat it without a mis- 
take. Let him be sure to be "letter perfect" 
in that verse—so perfect that he will "see" 
even the capital letters and the punctuation 
marks when he recites it. Then let him stop 

182 Memory 

for the day. The next day let him repeat the 
verse learned the day before, and then let 
him memorize a second verse in the same way, 
and just as perfectly. Then let him review 
the first and second verses together. This 
addition of the second verse to the first serves 
to weld the two together by association, and 
each review of them together serves to add 
a little bit to the weld, until they become 
joined in the mind as are "A, B, C." The 
third day let him learn a third verse, in the 
same way and then review the three. Con- 
tinue this for say a month, adding a new 
verse each day and adding it to the verses 
preceding it. But constantly review them 
from beginning to end. He cannot review 
them too often. He will be able to have them 
flow along like the letters of the alphabet, 
from "A" to "Z" if he reviews properly and 
often enough. 

Then, if he can spare the time, let him be- 
gin the second month by learning two verses 
each day, and adding to those that precede 
them, with constant and faithful reviews. He 
will find that he can memorize two verses, in 
the second month, as easily as he did the one 

To Remember Words, Etc. 183 

verse in the first month. His memory has 
been trained to this extent. And so, he may- 
proceed from month to month, adding an 
extra verse to his daily task, until he is un- 
able to spare the time for all the -work, or 
until he feels satisfied with what he has ac- 
complished. Let him use moderation and 
not try to become a phenomenon. Let him 
avoid overstraining. After he has memorized 
the entire poem, let him start with a new 
one, but not forget to revive the old one at 
frequent intervals. If he finds it impossible 
to add the necessary number of new verses, 
by reason of other occupation, etc., let him 
not fail to keep up his review work. The ex- 
ercise and review is more important than 
the mere addition of so many new verses. 

Let him vary the verses, or poems with 
prose selections. He will find the verses of 
the Bible very well adapted for such exer- 
cise, as they lend themselves easily to regis- 
tration in the memory. Shakespeare may be 
used to advantage in this work. The ' ' Eubai- 
yat" of Omar Khayyam; or the "Lady of the 
Lake" by Scott; or the "Song Celestial" or 
"Light of Asia" both by Edwin Arnold, will 

184 Memoby 

be found to be well adapted to this system 
of memorizing, the verses of each being apt to 
i ' stick in the memory, ' ' and each poem being 
sufficiently long to satisfy the requirements 
of even the most ambitious student. To look 
at the complete poem (any of those men- 
tioned) it would seem almost impossible that 
one would ever be able to memorize and re- 
cite it from beginning to end, letter perfect. 
But on the principle of the continual dripping 
of water wearing away the stone; or the 
snowball increasing at each roll ; this practice 
of a little being associated to what he already 
has will soon allow him to accumulate a won- 
derfully large store of memorized verses, 
poems, recitations, etc. It is an actual dem- 
onstration of the catchy words of the popu- 
lar song which informs one that: " Every 
little bit, added to what you've got, makes 
just a little bit more." 

After he has acquired quite a large assort- 
ment of memorized selections, he will find it 
impossible to review them all at one time. 
But he should be sure to review them all at 
intervals, no matter how many days may 
elapse between each review. 

To Remember Words, Etc. 185 

The student who has familiarized himself 
with the principles upon which memory de- 
pends^ as given in the preceding chapters, 
will at once see that the three principles of 
attention, association and repetition are em- 
ployed in the natural method herein recom- 
mended. Attention must be given in order 
to memorize each verse in the first place ; as- 
sociation is employed in the relationship 
created between the old verses and the new 
ones ; and repetition is employed by the fre- 
quent reviewing, which serves to deepen the 
memory impression each time the poem is re- 
peated. Moreover, the principle of interest 
is invoked, in the gradual progress made, and 
the accomplishment of what at first seemed 
to be an impossible task— the game element 
is thus supplied, which serves as an incen- 
tive. These combined principles render this 
method an ideal one, and it is not to be 
wondered that the race has so recognized it 
from the earliest times. 



In the preceding chapters we have given 
you suggestions for the development of the 
principal forms of memory. But there are 
still other phases or forms of memory, which 
while coming under the general classification 
may be still considered as worthy of special 
consideration. For instance there may be 
suggestions given regarding the memoriza- 
tion of the contents of the books you read, the 
stories you hear, etc. And so we have 
thought it advisable to devote one chapter 
to a consideration of these various phases 
of memory that have been "left out" of the 
other chapters. 

Many of us fail to remember the important 
things in the books we read, and are often 
mortified by our ignorance regarding the con- 
tents of the works of leading authors, or of 
popular novels, which although we have read, 
we have failed to impress upon the records 


To Remember Books, Etc. 187 

of our memory. Of course we must begin by 
reminding you of the ever present necessity 
of interest and attention— we cannot escape 
from these principles of the memory. The 
trouble with the majority of people is that 
they read books "to kill time," as a sort of 
mental narcotic or anaesthetic, instead of for 
the purpose of obtaining something of inter- 
est from them. By this course we not only 
lose all that may be of importance or value 
in the book, but also acquire the habit of care- 
less reading and inattention. The prevalence 
of the habit of reading many newspapers 
and trashy novels is responsible for the ap- 
parent inability of many persons to intel- 
ligently absorb and remember the contents, of 
a book "worth while" when they do happen 
to take up such a one. But, still, even the 
most careless reader may improve himself 
and cure the habit of inattention and careless 

Noah Porter says : "We have not read an 
author till we have seen his object, whatever 
it may be, as he saw it. ' ' Also : ' ' Read with 
attention. This is the rule that takes prece- 
dence of all others. It stands instead of a 

188 Memory 

score of minor directions. Indeed it com- 
prehends them all, and is the golden rule. 
. . . The page should be read as if it were 
never to be seen a second time; the mental 
eye should be fixed as if there were no other 
object to think of; the memory should grasp 
the facts like a vise; the impressions should 
be distinctly and sharply received. ' ' It is not 
necessary, nor is it advisable to attempt to 
memorize the text of a book, excepting, per- 
haps, a few passages that may seem worthy 
to be treasured up word for word. The prin- 
cipal thing to be remembered about a book is 
its meaning— what it is about. Then may 
follow the general outline, and the details of 
the story, essay, treatise or whatever it may 
be. The question that should be asked one- 
self, after the book is completed, or after the 
completion of some particular part of the 
book, is: "What was the writer's idea— 
what did he wish to say?" Get the idea of 
the writer. By taking this mental attitude 
you practically place yourself in the place 
of the writer, and thus take part in the idea 
of the book. You thus view it from the in- 
side, rather than from the outside. You 

To Remember Books, Etc. 189 

place yourself at the centre of the thing, in- 
stead of upon its circumference. 

If the book be a history, biography, auto- 
biography, narrative, or story of fact or fic- 
tion, you will find it of value to visualize its 
occurrences as the story unfolds. That is, 
endeavor to form at least a faint mental pic- 
ture of the events related, so that you see 
them "in your mind's eye," or imagination. 
Use your imagination in connection with the 
mechanical reading. In this way you build 
up a series of mental pictures, which will be 
impressed upon your mind, and which will 
be remembered just as are the scenes of a 
play that you have witnessed, or an actual 
event that you have seen, only less distinct 
of course. Particularly should you endeavor 
to form a clear mental picture of each char- 
acter, until each one is endowed with at least 
a semblance of reality to you. By doing this 
you will impart a naturalness to the events 
of the story and you will obtain a new pleas- 
ure from your reading. Of course, this plan 
will make you read more slowly, and many 
trashy tales will cease to interest you, for 
they do not contain the real elements of in- 

190 Memory 

terest— but this is no loss, but is a decided 
gain for you. At the end of each reading, 
take the time to mentally review the progress 
of the story— let the characters and scenes 
pass before your mental vision as in a mov- 
ing picture. And when the book is finally 
completed, review it as a whole. By follow- 
ing this course, you will not only acquire the 
habit of easily remembering the tales and 
books that you have read, but will also obtain 
much pleasure by re-reading favorite stories 
in your imagination, years after. You will 
find that your favorite characters will take 
on a new reality for you, and will become as 
old friends in whose company you may enjoy 
yourself at any time, and whom you may dis- 
miss when they tire you, without offense. 

In the case of scientific treatises, essays, 
etc., you may follow a similar plan by divid- 
ing the work into small sections and mentally 
reviewing the thought— (not the words) of 
each section until you make it your own ; and 
then by adding new sections to your review, 
you may gradually absorb and master the en- 
tire work. All this requires time, work and 
patience, but you will be repaid for your ex- 

To Remember Books, Etc. 191 

penditure. You will find that this plan will 
soon render you impatient at books of little 
consequence, and will drive you to the best 
books on any given subject. You will begin 
to begrudge your time and attention, and hes- 
itate about bestowing them upon any but the 
very best books. But in this you gain. 

In order to fully acquaint yourself with a 
book, before reading it you should familiarize 
yourself with its general character. To do 
this you should pay attention to the full title, 
and the sub- title, if there be any; the name 
of the author and the list of other books that 
he has written, if they are noted on the title 
page, or the one preceding it, according to 
the usual custom. You should read the pref- 
ace and study carefully the table of contents, 
that you may know the field or general sub- 
ject covered by the book— in other words en- 
deavor to get the general outline of the book, 
into which you may afterwards fill in the de- 

In reading a book of serious import, you 
should make it a point to fully grasp the 
meaning of each paragraph before passing 
on to the next one. Let nothing pass you that 

192 Memoby 

you do not understand, at least in a general 
way. Consult the dictionary for words not 
familiar to you, so that you may grasp the 
full idea intended to be expressed. At the 
end of each chapter, section and part, you 
should review that which you have read, until 
you are able to form a mental picture of the 
general ideas contained therein. 

To those who wish to remember the dra- 
matic productions that they have attended, 
we would say that the principles above men- 
tioned may be applied to this form of mem- 
ory as well as to the memory of books. By 
taking an interest in each character as it ap- 
pears ; by studying carefully each action and 
scene, and then reviewing each act in the in- 
tervals between the acts; and by finally re- 
viewing the entire play after your return 
home; you will fasten the whole play as a 
complete mental picture, on the records of 
your memory. If you have acquainted your- 
self with what we have just said regarding 
the recollection of the contents of books, you 
will be able to modify and adapt them to the 
purpose of recollecting plays and dramatic 
productions. You will find that the oftener 

To Remember Hooks, Kj llio 

you review a play, the more dearly will you 
remember it. Many little details overlooked 

at first will come into the field of COB 
I and fit into their proper places. 
Sermons, lectures and other di jay 

be remembered by bestowing interest and at- 
tention upon them, arid by attempting to 
grasp each general idea m r J, and by 

noting the passage from one general idea to 
another. If you will practice this a few 
times, you will find that when you come to 
review the discourse (and this you should 
always do— it is the natural way of dew 
ing memory) the little details will come up 
and fit into their proper places. In this form 
of memory, the important thing is to train 
the memory by exercise and review. You will 
find that at each review of a discourse you 
will have made progress. By practice and 
exercise, the subconscious mentality will do 
better work, and will show that it is ri 
to its new responsibilities. You have allowed 
it to sleep during the many discourses to 
which you have listened, and it must be 
taught new habits. Let it know that it is ex- 
pected to retain that which it hears, and then 

194 Memory 

exercise it frequently by reviews of dis- 
courses, and you will be surprised at the de- 
gree of the work it will perform for you. 
Not only will you remember better, but you 
will hear better and more intelligently. The 
subconsciousness, knowing that it will be 
called upon later on to recollect what is being 
said, will urge you to bestow the attention 
necessary to supply it with the proper ma- 

To those who have had trouble in remem- 
bering discourses, we urge that they should 
begin to attend lectures and other forms of 
discourse, with the distinct purpose of devel- 
oping that form of memory. Give to the sub- 
conscious mentality the positive command 
that it shall attend to what is being said, and 
shall record the same in such a way that when 
you review the discourse afterward you will 
be presented with a good synopsis or syllabus 
of it. You should avoid any attempt to mem- 
orize the words of the discourse— your pur- 
pose being to absorb and record the ideas and 
general thought expressed. Interest— Atten- 
tion— Practice— Eeview— these are the im- 
portant points in memory. 

To Remember Books, Etc. 195 

To remember stories, anecdotes, fables, 
etc., the principles given above are to be em- 
ployed. The main thing in memorizing an 
anecdote is to be able to catch the funda- 
mental idea underlying it, and the epigram- 
matic sentence, or central phrase which forms 
the "point" of the story. Be sure that you 
catch these perfectly, and then commit the 
"point" to memory. If necessary make a 
memorandum of the point, until you have 
opportunity to review the story in your mind. 
Then carefully review it mentally, letting the 
mental image of thg idea pass before you 
in review, and then repeating it to yourself 
in your own words. By rehearsing and re- 
viewing the story, you make it your own and 
will be able to relate it afterward just as 
you would something that you had actually 
experienced. So true is this principle, that 
when carried too far it endows the story with 
a false sense of actuality— who has not known 
men who told a story so often that they came 
actually to believe it themselves? Do not 
carry the principle to this extreme but use 
it in moderation. The trouble with many men 
is that they attempt to repeat a tale, long 

196 Memory 

after they have heard it, without reviewing 
or rehearsing in the meantime. Conse- 
quently they omit many important points, 
because they have failed to impress the 
story as a whole upon the memory. In 
order to know an anecdote properly, one 
should be able to see its characters and 
incidents, just as he does when he sees 
an illustrated joke in a comic paper. If 
you can make a mental picture of an anec- 
dote, you will be apt to remember it with 
ease. The noted story tellers review and re- 
hearse their jokes, and have been known to 
try them on their unsuspecting friends in 
order to get the benefit of practice before 
relating them in public— this practice has 
been called by flippant people: "trying it on 
the dog." But it has its good points, and ad- 
vantages. It at least saves one the mortifica- 
tion of being compelled to finish up a long- 
drawn out tale by an: "Er— well, um-m-m— - 
I'm afraid I've forgotten just how that story 
ended— but it was a good one!" 



In this chapter we shall call your attention 
to certain of the general principles already 
mentioned in the preceding chapters, for the 
purpose of further impressing them upon 
your mind, and in order that you may be able 
to think of and to consider them independent 
of the details of the special phases of memory. 
This chapter may be considered in the nature 
of a general review of certain fundamental 
principles mentioned in the body of the work. 

POINT I. Give to the thing that you wish 
to memorize, as great a degree of concen- 
trated attention as possible. 

We have explained the reason for this ad- 
vice in many places in the book. The degree 
of concentrated attention bestowed upon the 
object under consideration, determines the 
strength, clearness and depth of the impres- 
sion received and stored away in the subcon- 
sciousness. The character of these stored 


198 Memory 

away impressions determines the degree of 
ease in remembrance and recollection. 

POINT II. In considering an object to be 
memorized, endeavor to obtain the impres- 
sions through as many faculties and senses 
as possible. 

The reason for this advice should be ap- 
parent to you, if you have carefully read 
the preceding chapters. An impression re- 
ceived through both sound and sight is doubly 
as strong as one received through but one of 
these channels. You may remember a name, 
or word, either by having seen it in writing 
or print; or else by reason of having heard 
it; but if you have both seen and heard it 
you have a double impression, and possess 
two possible ways of reviving the impres- 
sion. You are able to remember an orange 
by reason of having seen it, smelt it, felt it 
and tasted it, and having heard its name 
pronounced. Endeavor to know a thing from 
as many sense impressions as possible— use 
the eye to assist ear-impressions; and the 
ear to assist in eye-impressions. See the 
thing from as many angles as possible. 

POINT III. Sense impressions may be 

General Instructions 199 

strengthened by exercising the particular 
faculty through which the weak impressions 
are received. 

You will find that either your eye memory 
is better than your ear memory, or vice versa. 
The remedy lies in exercising the weaker 
faculty, so as to bring it up to the standard 
of the stronger. The chapters of eye and 
ear training will help you along these lines. 
The same rule applies to the several phases 
of memory— develop the weak ones, and the 
strong ones will take care of themselves. The 
only way to develop a sense or faculty is to 
intelligently train, exercise and use it. Use, 
exercise and practice will work miracles in 
this direction. 

POINT IV. Make your first impression 
strong and firm enough to serve as a basis 
for subsequent ones. 

Get into the habit of fixing a clear, strong 
impression of a thing to be considered, from 
the first. Otherwise you are trying to build 
up a large structure upon a poor foundation. 
Each time you revive an impression you 
deepen it, but if you have only a dim impres- 
sion to begin with, the deepened impressions 

200 Memory 

will not include details omitted in the first 
one. It is like taking a good sharp negative 
of a picture that you intend to enlarge after- 
ward. The details lacking in the small pic- 
ture will not appear in the enlargement ; but 
those that do appear in the small one, will be 
enlarged with the picture. 

POINT V. Revive your impressions fre- 
quently and thus deepen them. 

You will know more of a picture by seeing 
it a few minutes every day for a week, than 
you would by spending several hours before 
it at one time. So it is with the memory. By 
recalling an impression a number of times, 
you fix it indelibly in your mind in such a 
way that it may be readily found when 
needed. Such impressions are like favorite 
tools which you need every little while— 
they are not apt to be mislaid as are those 
which are but seldom used. Use your imagi- 
nation in "going over" a thing that you wish 
to remember. If you are studying a thing, 
you will find that this "going over" in your 
imagination will help you materially in dis- 
closing the things that you have not remem- 
bered about it. By thus recognizing your 

General Instructions 201 

weak points of memory, you may be able to 
pick up the missing details when you study 
the object itself the next time. 

POINT VI. Use your memory and place 
confidence in it. 

One of the important things in the cultiva- 
tion of the memory is the actual use of it. 
Begin to trust it a little, and then more, and 
then still more, and it will rise to the occa- 
sion. The man who has to tie a string around 
his finger in order to remember certain 
things, soon begins to cease to use his mem- 
ory, and in the end forgets to remember the 
string, or what it is for. There are many de- 
tails, of course, with which it is folly to 
charge the memory, but one should never 
allow his memory to fall into disuse. If you 
are in an occupation in which the work is 
done by mechanical helps, then you should 
exercise the memory by learning verses, or 
other things, in order to keep it in active 
practice. Do not allow your memory to 

POINT VII. Establish as many associa- 
tions for an impression, as possible. 

If you have studied the preceding chapters, 

202 Memoey 

you will recognize the value of this point. 
Association is memory's method of indexing 
and cross-indexing. Each association renders 
it easier to remember or recollect the thing. 
Each association gives you another string to 
your mental bow. Endeavor to associate a 
new bit of knowledge with something already 
known by, and familiar to you. In this way 
to avoid the danger of having the thing iso- 
lated and alone in your mind— without a label, 
or index number and name, connect your 
object or thought to be remembered with 
other objects or thoughts, by the association 
of contiguity in space and time, and by re- 
lationship of kind, resemblance or opposite- 
ness. Sometimes the latter is very useful, as 
in the case of the man who said that ' ' Smith 
reminds me so much of Brown— he's so dif- 
ferent. 99 You will often be able to remember 
a thing by remembering something else that 
happened at the same place, or about the 
same time— these things give you the "loose 
ends' 9 of recollection whereby you may un- 
wind the ball of memory. In the same way, 
one is often able to recollect names by slowly 
running over the alphabet, with a pencil, 

General Instructions 203 

until the sight of the capital first letter of the 
name brings the memory of those following 
it— this, however, only when the name has 
previously been memorized by sight. In the 
same way the first few notes of a musical 
selection will enable you to remember the 
whole air; or the first words of a sentence, 
the entire speech or selection following it. 
In trying to remember a thing which has es- 
caped you, you will find it helpful to think 
of something associated with that thing, even 
remotely. A little practice will enable you 
to recollect the thing along the lines- of the 
faintest association or clue. Some men are 
adept memory detectives, following this plan. 
The " loose end" in memory is all the expert 
requires. Any associations furnish these 
loose ends. An interesting and important 
fact to remember in this connection is that 
if you have some one thing that tends to es- 
cape your memory, you may counteract the 
trouble by noting the associated things that 
have previously served to bring it into mind 
with you. The associated thing once noted, 
may thereafter be used as a loose end with 
which to unwind the elusive fact or impres- 

204 Memory 

sion. This idea of association is quite fas- 
cinating when you begin to employ it in your 
memory exercises and work. And you will 
find many little methods of using it. But 
always use natural association, and avoid the 
temptation of endeavoring to tie your mem- 
ory up with the red-tape of the artificial 

POINT VIII. Group your impressions. 

This is but a form of association, but is 
very important. If you can arrange your bits 
of knowledge and fact into logical groups, 
you will. .always be master of your subject. 
By associating your knowledge with other 
knowledge along the same general lines, both 
by resemblances and by opposites, you will 
be able to find what you need just when you 
need it. Napoleon Bonaparte had a mind 
trained along these lines. He said that his 
memory was like a large case of small drawers 
and pigeon-holes, in which he filed his in- 
formation according to its kind. In order to 
do this he used the methods mentioned in this 
book of comparing the new thing with the old 
ones, and then deciding into which group it 
naturally fitted. This is largely a matter of 

General Instructions 205 

practice and knack, but it may be acquired by 
a little thought and care, aided by practice. 
And it will repay one well for the trouble 
in acquiring it. The following table will be 
found useful in classifying objects, ideas, 
facts, etc., so as to correlate and associate 
them with other facts of a like kind. The 
table is to be used in the line of questions ad- 
dressed to oneself regarding the thing under 
consideration. It somewhat resembles the 
table of questions given in Chapter XVII, of 
this book, but has the advantage of brevity. 
Memorize this table and use it. You will be 
delighted at the results, after you have caught 
the knack of applying it. 

QUERY TABLE. Ask yourself the fol- 
lowing questions regarding the thing under 
consideration. It will draw out many bits of 
information and associated knowledge in your 

(1) WHAT? (5) HOW? 

(2) WHENCE? (6) WHY! 

(3) WHERE? (7) WHITHER? 

(4) WHEN? 

While the above Seven Queries are given 
you as a means of acquiring clear impres- 

206 Memoky 

sions and associations, they will also serve 
as a Magic Key to Knowledge, if you use 
them intelligently. If you can answer these 
questions regarding anything, you will know 
a great deal about that particular thing. And 
after you have answered them fully, there 
will be but little unexpressed knowledge re- 
garding that thing left in your memory. Try 
them on some one thing— you cannot under- 
stand them otherwise, unless you have a very 
good imagination. 



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